The relationship between Miss Halcombe and Mr. Hartright is amicable from the beginning of their time together. Although Miss Halcombe expresses her feelings for Mr. Hartright, he is in love with her sister and so their relationship remains a friendly one and nothing more. However, their relationship is more complex than that, as Mr. Hartright relies on Miss Halcombe for support, particularly once she tells him that Miss Fairlie in engaged. Once she tells him that her sister is engaged, Mr. Hartright is devastated as her felt a, “dull numbing pain” (Collins 72). Both Mr. Hartright and Miss Halcombe, who can see the pain on his face, express that the pain has momentarily wiped Mr. Hartright of his masculinity. Miss Halcombe says, “Crush it […] don’t shrink under it like a woman. Tear it out: trample it under foot like a man” (Collins 73). Interestingly, Miss Halcombe challenges Mr. Hartright’s masculinity by insinuating that if he lets his pain persist, he will be feminine. This is interesting because Miss Halcombe, as a woman, is reinforcing gender stereotypes throughout the book thus far of feminine weakness, while acting as a strong, more stereo-typically masculine character. By telling Mr. Hartright that pain is feminine, she buys into and promotes the stereotypes of feminine weakness and masculine strength while simultaneously portraying a woman who does not uphold very feminine stereotypes. Miss Halcombe’s language violent demands of Mr. Hartright when she tells him to “crush” and “rip out” come with a connotation of destruction and violence, followed by the insistence that if he “crushes” his pain, he will be a man. Here, manliness is associated with violence and overpowering/ destroying weakness (pain). This adds to the concept of gender roles which runs throughout the book. It gives us insight into what the characters believe masculinity and femininity look like. Mr. Hartright agrees with Miss Halcombe’s sentiment saying, We both waited for a minute, in silence. At the end of that time, I had justified her generous faith in my manhood” (73). Interestingly, Mr. Hartright almost admits to not being as masculine as Miss Halcombe gives him credit for because he describes her words to be “generous” implying that he may not believe them entirely himself. However, he did gather himself enough to “justify” her confidence in his masculinity. This exchange between these two characters both emphasizes and challenged gender stereotypes, adding to the complex dynamics of gender roles throughout the novel.