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George Eliots Adam Bede - Book Report/Review Example

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George Eliots Adam Bede

Arthur, with his arrogant self-confidence, beauty and effective charms woos easily impressed Hetty, who's "little" and "narrow" (Eliot 386) imaginations indicate that "some day she should be a grand lady and dress for dinner in a brocaded silk" (Eliot 196), also indicating her desire for luxury. The immaturity of their relationship is shown by their mutual unawareness of responsibility.
Arthur refuses to confess that he is really not in love with Hetty, no matter how much Adam pressures him. The fact that he is a captain in the army and has long-tenured duties that await him does not stop him from wavering into the woods (taking the "wrong" path), surrendering to the seduction of a sensual and "magically metamorphosing creature" and temporarily submerging his "social reality under mythical imagery" (Gates; par. 13). Hetty, on the other hand, avoids the responsibility of bearing a child after prematurely entering "into a sexual relationship with Arthur Donnithorne" (Marck; par. 2). In fact, she becomes pregnant and commits the crime of infanticide that ultimately produces "a crime against the biological, social, and psychological expectations of motherhood" (Marck; par. 2).
Contrastingly, the love between Adam and Dinah is mature, although it takes a while for both of them to develop it for one another. At first, Adam is blindly in love with Hetty, wholly misinterpreting her actions and boldly defending his emotions by confronting Arthur numerous times, even though his "habitual daydreams" of Hetty are not "egoistic wish-fulfillment['s]" (Gettelman; par. 19) - rather, they are "expressions of reverent love and enthusiasm" (Gettelman; par. 20).
Perhaps this kind of love later in the book influences Adam to shy away from Hetty's outer beauty, and look more deeply at the inner beauty of Dinah, "who throughout [the book] is so closely and consistently associated with the figure of sympathy that [she is portrayed] not only as its agents but as its very embodiment" (Pyle; par. 25). Although Dinah first turns down Adam's proposal of marriage, she comes to realize the power of religion by accepting and realizing God's will to marry Adam.
Adam and Dinah's marriage is also influenced by their dedication to hard work, which is an important theme in Eliot's "Adam Bede". Adam is a hard working and diligent carpenter who, after years of devotion to the job, is able to buy out his former employer's business and establishment. He believes that by working hard he is doing God's work. Dinah, a mill-worker and a Methodist preacher, seeks to bring God's love to all those around her.
Contrastingly, Hetty and Arthur's lives are marked by idleness. Arthur is tense with sexual feelings but bored, and Hetty, portrayed as having "rose-petal" cheeks, "pouting lips" and "large dark eyes [that hide] a soft roguishness under their long lashes" (Eliot 128), having never finished reading a novel, is idle in daydreaming most of the time.
Although Hetty remains unintelligent throughout most of the book, Arthur recognizes the maturity of Adam And Dinah when he comes back to the village from his exile and accepts their marriage, as well as Adam's forgiveness. Eliot here illustrates the importance of forgiveness, of sympathy and charity. Even though Adam's influence had a lasting effect on Arthur's relationship with Hetty, it is because of Arthur's patronage that Adam ...Show more

Summary

One of the leading writers of the Victorian era, George Eliot, which was the pseudonym for Mary Ann Evans, published her first novel "Adam Bede" in 1859. Although the book was very successful, Eliot used the pseudonym because the book caused quite a stir in a society that at that time did not take female authors seriously…
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