Summary of Middlemarch Essay

Summary of Middlemarch Essay

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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. Fred Vincy, by nature a somewhat wild and undisciplined young man, finds himself in debt. He has accepted credit from unreliable sources and must find a way to repay the debt, if he does not, the father of Mary Garth, Fred's only true love, must pay the debt for him. Fred's only hope is that his old, dying uncle Peter Featherstone will leave him money in his will. When Featherstone dies, he leaves two wills. The first promises a large sum of money to Fred, but the second and more recent will leaves the entire estate to Mr. Joshua Rigg, Peter Featherstone's son, thus effectively crushing Fred's expectations. As a result of the disappointment, Fred becomes violently ill. The Vincys call in young Dr. Lydgate, a doctor who hopes to reform medical practices in England. In the process of attending to Fred, Lydgate finds himself captivated by Rosamond Vincy, Fred's sister.
On their honeymoon in Rome, the newly married Casaubons find things not to be as happy as they had expected. Mr. Casaubon spends his time doing research for his book The Key to All Mythologies, Dorothea, who desperately wants to help him in his scholarly pursuits, finds herself shut out from his work. One afternoon as she...


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...e support of a wealthy widow is another step towards restoring Lydgate's name. Dorothea also visits Rosamond, convincing her that Lydgate loves her and that the two of them should be happy together. In the process, though, Dorothea realizes her own love for Will Ladislaw. Much to the dismay of Sir James Chettam and others, Dorothea renounces her fortune and marries Will. The novel ends with a vision of the futures of the different characters. Rosamond and Lydgate build a marriage and a medical practice, their lives are generally happy though not without occasional problems. Fred Vincy and Mary Garth are married and live happily as hard working tenants at Stone Court, the land that Fred had once hoped to inherit from his uncle Featherstone. Dorothea and Will Ladislaw move to London where they build a happy family and Dorothea continues to look for ways to be useful.

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