Essay on Middlemarch

Essay on Middlemarch

Length: 1557 words (4.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In her novel Middlemarch, George Eliot’s job is to compare different types of existence and their relevance to one another—where each character is faced with a struggle to resolve his/hers desires with the realities of life. In the novel, both the character of Dorothea Brooke and Dr. Lydgate share a similar form of imagination, where both create an image in their mind of the ideal marriage. Such images can be seen as illusions and it is through these illusions the characters must surrender to reality, as they must make an effort to understand the desires that sparked their imagination from the start, and must attempt to make peace with their existing situations. Eliot, through her narration, attempts to exemplify through these two characters this common inclination of human nature to create what we desire as a tool when dealing with life that is both limiting and disappointing.
The vision of the ideal marital partner, for both Dorothea and Lydgate, is oddly chanced. Strangely, Dorothea seeks an intellectually dominant partner who will guide her to her higher purpose in life, while Lydgate seeks a submissive woman who will share in his struggles and assist him with achieving his ambitious goals. It appears to the reader that in many ways it seems like they were looking for each other—for the commonality in their both ideals is the desire for a partner with whom they can share their higher goals, however, both marry someone quite different from this vision. In the beginning chapters, Dorothea is described as looking for a union “that would deliver her from her girlish subjection to her own ignorance, and give her the freedom of voluntary submission to a guide who would take her along the greatest path” (27). Here, Dorothea’s sel...


... middle of paper ...


...ion. As each character begins to “emerge from that stupidity” (198) of delusion, they are given the opportunity to show to show their true moral standing through the way in which they deal with the realities—the realities with which they are confronted with after the illusions starts rubbing off. Dorothea morally elevates herself in the post-imaginative state, showing her ability to accept her duties. Whereas, Lydgate is less satisfying, forcing himself into a perpetual compromise in which her maintains some of his illusion while completely sacrificing his goals and himself to the consequences. Thus, this temptation to imagine in inescapable in the world of Middlemarch, and—as Eliot informs the reader—in the world at large: “We are all of us imaginative in some form or other, for images are the brood of desire,” in this inescapable “fellowship of illusion” (304).

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

The Theme of Marriage in Middlemarch Essay

- The Theme of Marriage in Middlemarch     One of the central themes that runs through Middlemarch is that of marriage. Indeed, it has been argued that Middlemarch can be construed as a treatise in favor of divorce. I do not think that this is the case, although there are a number of obviously unsuitable marriages. If it had been Elliot's intention to write about such a controversial subject, I believe she would not have resorted to veiling it in a novel. She illustrates the different stages of relationships that her characters undergo, from courtship through to marriage: A fellow mortal with whose nature you are acquainted with solely through the brief entrances and exits of a few imag...   [tags: Eliot Middlemarch Essays]

Better Essays
2260 words (6.5 pages)

Marriage as Slavery in Middlemarch Essay

- Marriage as Slavery in Middlemarch One of George Eliot's challenges in Middlemarch is to depict a sexually desirous woman, Dorothea, within the confines of Victorian literary propriety. The critic, Abigail Rischin, identifies the moment that Dorothea's future husband, Ladislaw, and his painter-friend see her alongside an ancient, partially nude statue of the mythic heroine, Ariadne, in a museum in Rome as the key to Eliot's sexualization of this character. Ariadne is, in the sculpture, between her two lovers....   [tags: Eliot Middlemarch Essays]

Better Essays
2440 words (7 pages)

Use of the Epigraph in George Eliot's Middlemarch Essay

- Use of the Epigraph in George Eliot's Middlemarch The epigraph is an unusual, though not uncommon, form of citation. It is a part of the text yet distinct from it. White space and specialized formatting, such as italics, separate the epigraph from the main text, thereby challenging the reader to determine the relationship between the two. Unlike a typical quotation, which dwells in the midst of the text, illuminating one point in the argument, the epigraph's unique positioning prior to the body of the text highlights particular ideas, words, or images and thereby guides the reading of the entire argument....   [tags: Eliot Middlemarch Essays]

Better Essays
605 words (1.7 pages)

The Motifs of Furniture and Yoke in George Eliot's Middlemarch Essay

- The Motifs of Furniture and Yoke in George Eliot's Middlemarch "'You have not made my life pleasant to me of late'-'the hardships which our marriage has brought on me'-these words were stinging his imagination as a pain makes an exaggerated dream (667)." On the list of life's complexities, marriage, perhaps, reigns at the top. George Eliot's Middlemarch exhumes many of the complicated facets of marriage from a Victorian England milieu. Although the character spectrum in Middlemarch includes diversity in social class, the bulk of players are members of the aristocracy....   [tags: Eliot Middlemarch Essays]

Better Essays
1586 words (4.5 pages)

Middlemarch by George Eliot and Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy Essay

- Middlemarch by George Eliot and Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy The Victorian era brought about many changes throughout Great Britain. Man was searching for new avenues of enlightenment. The quest for knowledge and understanding became an acceptable practice throughout much of the scientific community. It was becoming accepted, and in many ways expected, for people to search for knowledge. Philosophy, the search for truth, was becoming a more intricate part of educating ones self; no longer were people holding on to old-fashioned ideas....   [tags: Middlemarch eliot Jude Hardy Essays]

Better Essays
1445 words (4.1 pages)

Middlemarch Essay

- Middlemarch, a Victorian novel written by George Elliot, depicts a realistic view of a conventional society in the eighteenth century. Middlemarch, the town in England where the setting of the novel takes place, embodies many provincial characters who are affected by the social world where they live and interact with each other. The novel focuses on many of the characters and their relationships as part of a whole in a human social web. Among the many characters, the main ones include: Dorothea Brooke, a beautiful, good, and caring young woman, but very naïve and idealistic; Edward Casaubon, a boring old scholar who marries Dorothea; Rosamond Vincy, a gorgeous young woman, but very egoistic...   [tags: Literary Analysis, Elliot]

Better Essays
2349 words (6.7 pages)

Essay on Middlemarch

- In her novel Middlemarch, George Eliot’s job is to compare different types of existence and their relevance to one another—where each character is faced with a struggle to resolve his/hers desires with the realities of life. In the novel, both the character of Dorothea Brooke and Dr. Lydgate share a similar form of imagination, where both create an image in their mind of the ideal marriage. Such images can be seen as illusions and it is through these illusions the characters must surrender to reality, as they must make an effort to understand the desires that sparked their imagination from the start, and must attempt to make peace with their existing situations....   [tags: Literary Analysis, George Eliot]

Better Essays
1557 words (4.4 pages)

George Eliot's Middlemarch Essay

- In George Eliot’s Middlemarch, Will Ladislaw is introduced as Mr. Casaubon’s young cousin. He is seen in the gardens at Lowick Manor and described as “a gentleman with a sketch book […] and light brown curls” (49). Mr. Casaubon describes him as a young man who with a mercurial temperament, general inclination to resist responsibility and an affinity towards grand artistic endeavors. Later in the book, town gossip Mrs. Cadwallader refers to him as “a dangerous little sprig […] with his opera song and his ready tongue....   [tags: victorian literature, literary analysis]

Better Essays
1620 words (4.6 pages)

Summary of Middlemarch Essay

- After their parents die, Celia and Dorothea Brooke go to live with their uncle Mr. Brooke at Tipton Grange in Middlemarch, a small town in the English countryside. Dorothea, the beautiful, clever sister, immediately attracts the attention of Sir James Chettam, but with her always present desire to be useful, Dorothea has eyes only for the older, scholarly Mr. Casaubon. Against the desires of many in the Middlemarch community, Dorothea and Casaubon are married. In the meantime, the lives of another pair of would-be lovers becomes quite complicated....   [tags: essays research papers]

Better Essays
842 words (2.4 pages)

The Real World: Reality in Middlemarch Essay

- What makes Middlemarch such a realistic novel is the situations and the characters in the novel are applicable to everyday life. Although the novel is fictitious, many of the characters are not overly inflated into superfluous unrealistic personalities; rather, they are relatable descriptions of everyday people. The situations may sometimes be dramatic, but no more so than in real life. The settings and the surroundings in the town of Middlemarch are also appropriate with those of reality. The aspects of reality and realism throughout Middlemarch provide a much stronger connection and relationship with the reader....   [tags: European Literature]

Better Essays
694 words (2 pages)