Title

Characters' Reading And Changing Reality In The Novels Of George Eliot

Date of Award

1981

Availability

Article

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Department

English

Abstract

In all her novels, but especially in those set in the nineteenth century, George Eliot uses reading both to develop character and to portray the changing social reality of the age. Through specific references to her characters' reading, Eliot sets up patterns of ironic associations that reverberate through the subsurface of the plots. In addition, her uses of reading reflect far-reaching changes in nineteenth-century culture. From Adam Bede's looking back to the oral tradition, through the middle novels which demonstrate both the power and the problems of print, to Daniel Deronda, with its cinematic qualities, Eliot's novels reflect the social realities of her age. Her responses to cultural changes in nineteenth-century England, examined through her varying methods of dealing with her characters' reading, help explain her apparent ambivalence toward print.

Keywords

Literature, English

Link to Full Text

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