Bronte has a sometimes arresting pithiness, and here she provides an explanation for the hatred underlying riots and machine wrecking in the early decades of the 19th century when the Industrial Revolution was picking up pace.  The novel captures a period when machines began significantly replacing jobs, creating violent reactions.  Bronte also conveys something of the economic doldrums caused by the Napoleonic wars. 

Misery generates hate.

Source: Charlotte Bronte, Shirley (London: Collins, 1968), p. 37

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