The Real World: Reality in Middlemarch Essay

The Real World: Reality in Middlemarch Essay

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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.

The impression given by the community in Middlemarch is similar to that of a small tight-knit community almost anywhere. In a smaller community, everybody knows everybody else, as well as their business, and more about each other's personal life than one would like to think. There is usually a town gossip spreading rumours and beginning every sentence with `did you hear?' Middlemarch as a town is no exception. While Mrs Cadwallader is busy being the town matchmaker; voluntarily involving herself in everyone's personal affairs, everyone else has their own opinion about other residents. "Oh, I go about so little; and I am not fond of gossip; I really never hear any. You see so many people that I don't see. Your circle is rather different from ours." (255). In this scene, Harriet is speaking with Mrs Bulstrode about some town gossip, and it seems the more someone claims ignorance and that they are not busybody, in fact the more informed they are.

Middlemarch has no real lead character; it has characters that appear more often than others do, but there is not one character that steals the spotlight throughout the entir...


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...rch as well. There is the blackmail situation going on between John Raffles and Nicholas Bulstrode. There is also Mr. Farebrother's gambling problem, and the loss of a job position which could have potentially straightened his life out. There is definitely not a shortage of drama and complicated events going on in the lives of Middlemarch residents.

What makes Middlemarch really interesting is the way that the reader can imagine themselves in many of the situations that appear throughout the novel. The drama and the characters in Middlemarch are relatable and this forms an association and relationship with the reader. An unrealistic novel with ridiculous situations and even more ridiculous characters would not prove to hold as strong of an effect or connection as Middlemarch did.

Works Cited

Eliot, George. Middlemarch. Toronto: Broadview Press Ltd, 2004.

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