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Middlemarch: Martyrs to circumstances.

Abstract

Middlemarch is a web of positive and negative reconciliations in political, social, marital and personal spheres of life. In teaching the novel, students' responses to the social, moral and psychological problems, which are encountered, should be focused on. With this purpose, short papers to be discussed in class should be assigned to students. For the protagonists the descent from lofty ambition to mundane realities is inevitable because of the discrepancy between the grandeur of their aspirations and the meanness of opportunity, which causes them to modify or abandon their goals.Dorothea, Lydgate and Ladislaw represent a wish to live by values higher than the values of Middlemarch. They seek to serve humanity through common sympathy, science and art. Dorothea and Lydgate end up submitting to the narrow-minded egoism of Casaubon and Rosamond respectively, as well as the prejudices of the Middlemarchers. Ladislaw's love for Dorothea leads him to his involvement in Reform and to abdicating his artistic preoccupations.

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Middlemarch offers itself as the history of a community, evolving slowly, usually unconsciously, and of the various people whose hopes and ambitions are interrelated, and whose growth requires that they abdicate youthful romance and idealism, and accept the limits life imposes (Thomas 49). Hence, while teaching the novel, it is necessary to draw students' attention to the moral, social and psychological problems the text involves. The omniscient narrator's psychological shrewdness and awareness allows him/her to unravel the webs enmeshing all human endeavour. The mistakes and misjudgements by which human beings frustrate their ambitions are exposed relentlessly. Bound by their illusions, the characters engage in faulty alliances, speculations, anticipations. Circumstances act as one more obstacle to the fulfilment of their dreams. As in many other novels of George Eliot, real greatness is reduced to mediocrity by the compulsion of an unfavourable environment. The narrator asserts that 'there is no creature whose inward being is so strong that it is not greatly determined by what lies outside it' (896). Middlemarch is the work of a realist. It contains a compromise. Eliot avoids Dickens's escapism through fantasy, but she also resists a Thackerayan pessimism. Her idealism checks her realism. She assumes the pose of a novelist-historian, like Fielding, and uses the epic as an ironic correlative for actions which are unheroic. It is an epic which mourns the impossibility of an epic life for its characters owing to the collision between the characters' ideals and circumstances.

In Middlemarch the irony of events constantly thwarts all aspirations and produces effects exactly the opposite to those anticipated by the characters. Aspiration is one of the major causes of the conflict between the individual and society. The characters on which our attention is focused in the novel seek more than the kind of life Middlemarch offers; consequently, as the Prelude to the novel warns us, for the protagonists the descent from lofty ambition to mundane realities is inevitable. They will have to modify or abandon their goals because of the discrepancy between their 'spiritual grandeur' and the 'meanness of opportunity' (25). In fact, the growth of the characters is connected with their acceptance of the limits that life imposes and compromising with their environment (Chase 72). The narrow provincial life challenges their aspirations, resists all change and distrusts all that is foreign. Consequently, the teacher should concentrate on the main theme, which is the conflict between individual and society and the causes of the conflict. With this purpose, students should be assigned short papers addressing key elements of the text; such as, the weak and strong aspects of the characters; their aspirations, the moral conflicts they face in trying to actualise them; and the responses of the characters to the internal and external constraints. These papers will trigger class discussion, leading to valuable exchange of ideas among students.

Dorothea, Lydgate and Ladislaw start as rebels. In their ardour they seek to serve humanity through common sympathy, science and art. Dorothea Brooke desires to make life beautiful and comfortable for everyone and wants nothing for herself. Her dreams are grandiose. As Abba G. Woolson points out (61), she has a warm heart, a good mind, utmost delicacy of feeling and elevation of thought. The chief desire of her heart is to undertake some enlightened charitable work, which will be of permanent benefit to those beneath her; and she has a great fortune and abundant leisure to achieve her desire. She seeks to know more than her meagre education has so far allowed her and thereby to do more than her society designates as appropriate to her. She is weak in self-trust because of her consciousness of the inadequacy of her education and her consequent unfitness for life's opportunities. Her willingness to devote her life and fortune to making others happy is of no avail in the narrow-minded community of Middlemarch. There seems to be no place either for her devotion or her pious intentions to be bestowed on and no adequate sphere for the expansion and refinement of her qualities. Her ardour merely serves to make her ridiculous in the eyes of her friends and relatives. At times even the narrator cannot help poking fun at her child-like naivety, commenting, "She was blind, you see, to many things obvious to others' (408).

Since the medium of faith in which Dorothea's religious aspirations could be satisfied no longer exists, she turns to the medium of knowledge. In Dorothea the problem of women excluded from work and from fulfilling activity, sequestered by their education, is made manifest. And Dorothea finds no other form of expression for her yearning to do good than drawing cottages and marrying Casaubon. Her lack of experience and self-knowledge combined with her naive, passionate and idealistic nature causes her to accept Casaubon's marriage proposal enthusiastically, blinding herself to his shortcomings and disregarding the opposition of her relatives and friends. The objections, in fact, are not emphatic. The social world acknowledges the unfitness of the marriage but does not interfere since the aged, unlovely Casaubon has good breeding and family connections as well as a handsome income.

Dorothea finds Casaubon attractive because of his mental qualities. Mrs. Cadwallader suggests sexual inadequacy by remarking that 'marriage to Casaubon is as good as going to a nunnery' (82). His sickliness is emphasised by Celia. The letter of proposal suggests that he has never felt any strong sexual interest in women. Moreover, he seems unable to escape from the academic register even in his intimate talks with his fiancre. His speech on her acceptance of his proposal is pompous and frigid to the extent of absurdity (Wright 28). His reasons for marrying Dorothea, as listed by the narrator, are conventional ones and have nothing to do with Dorothea's character or beauty: marriage was something society sanctioned, and it was natural for a man in his position to choose a young lady of equal rank and virtuous disposition; 'the younger the better, because more educable and submissive' (312). He thinks his material possessions will suffice to make her happy. He is, however, aware of his own shortcomings and morbidly afraid of their being exposed. He is terrified that Dorothea's blind worship of his learning might be replaced with critical judgement (233).

The oscillation of irony and sympathy in the presentation of Dorothea in the opening chapter is maintained throughout the novel. Her idealisation of Casaubon and her tendency to extremes of feeling are criticised while her social conscience and spiritual ardour and her respect for knowledge are presented sympathetically (Wright 35). She idealises Casaubon as an intellectual who will introduce her to the Stoic and Alexandrian philosophers, whose ethical ideal--the elevation of the common good over petty, personal interest--resembles her own. She seeks 'a binding theory' (112) to bring her own life and doctrine into connection with this intellectual heritage (Semmel 93). Gillian Beer argues (60) that Dorothea finds it hard to distinguish between love and learning: the mentor-pupil relationship in the male-female form presents the man as teacher and woman as pupil. The pattern extends across intellectual and sexual experience. Men teach women intellectually and sexually. To Dorothea knowledge and passion are identified, hence her choice of Casaubon as tutor, father and husband. She mistakes marriage to Casaubon as a possible way out of her 'walled-in maze of small paths that led no whither' (51). During the betrothal 'Dorothea's faith supplied all that Mr. Casaubon's words seemed to leave unsaid' (50) remarks the narrator. 'She filled up all blanks with unmanifested perfections, interpreting him as she interpreted the works of Providence and accounting for seeming discords by her own deafness to the higher harmonies' (100). She sees Casaubon as a fulfilment of her aspirations, not as a human being. She confuses her wishes with the reality. However, during their honeymoon in Rome, as David Carroll also notes (244), she discovers that the gaps and discords point not beyond themselves to higher harmonies but find definitive expression in the fragments of European culture. The large vistas and wide fresh air, which she dreamt of finding in her husband's mind, are replaced by ante-rooms which seem to lead nowhere. The glories Dorothea hoped to find in Rome turn into various kinds of labyrinths, imprisonment, dead-ends, constraints. The complex imagery leads in several directions--toward the Cretan labyrinth with Casaubon as Minotaur and Dorothea as Ariadne, or to the life of a saint, suggesting that Dorothea's spiritual mentor has led her down to a Gothic dungeon (Carroll 246). To Dorothea Rome is 'unintelligible' (225). Neither her puritanical upbringing nor her husband is of the least use to her in Rome, 'the city of visible history' (224), which seems to her as 'the oppressive masquerade of ages' (225), so she cannot connect the seemingly sordid present with the glorious past.

It is Ladislaw who attempts to reintegrate the past in the light of the present and who teaches Dorothea to make these connections. Rome, he tells her, 'had given him quite a new sense of history as a whole; the fragments stimulated his imagination and made him constructive' (244). Ladislaw is the embodiment of the myths Casaubon is studying. Unlike Casaubon, he has no desire to search for the key to all mythologies. Ladislaw is open-minded and receptive. Carroll argues (248) that if Casaubon's career is the relentless and deadly imposition of a theory, Ladislaw represents the creative hypothesis, flexibly and reciprocally initiating its engagement with the world. It is the contrast between Ladislaw's 'sunny brightness' and Casaubon's 'rayless gloom' (241) that prompts in Dorothea 'the first stirrings of a pitying tenderness fed by the realities of [Casaubon's] lot and not by her own dreams' (242). Dorothea's intellectual brightness, her power of perceiving that Casaubon himself distrusts his own power for his task, daunts Casaubon. Her sympathy with his poor cousin Ladislaw, who is 'an incarnation of the spring' (512), and her wish to make friends with him arouse Casaubon's jealousy. However, Dorothea's initial interest in Ladislaw is motivated by Casaubon's coldness and indifference, and apparent injustice to his cousin. Dorothea is kind to Ladislaw to compensate for her husband's unpleasant behaviour. Her love for Ladislaw begins, or she becomes conscious of it, only after her attention is drawn to the subject by Casaubnn's suspicions as manifested in his will.

It is during their honeymoon that she turns from her illusions to the solid ground of the otherness of people and is able to conceive that her husband has 'an equivalent centre of self" (243). Despite Casaubon's cruelty and rigidity, her noble soul asserts itself as she undergoes the testing of her new vision. She deludes herself that she is the one to blame for the failure of her marriage and for the frustration of her illusions, which is partly true since the image of Casaubon she had in her mind when she accepted his proposal has no relation to the real man. Moreover, her primary motive for marrying him was not really Casaubon's need for help but her own needs and desires. As she comes to recognise that Casaubon is not the embodiment of her ideals, but has values very different from hers and her expectations, she feels despair; however, not for long. She gives up looking for the 'binding theory' to bring her life into connection with the past and with Casanbon's intellectual heritage for she realises that Casaubon is unable or unwilling to help her in this. She reconciles herself to all the dissatisfaction and unpleasantness the marriage involves, even if she feels condemned to live in a 'virtual tomb' (516). Since she cannot hope to change her husband, the only solution is to try to preserve her faith and to continue her practice of good within the narrow bounds of her marriage; otherwise, there would be pointless suffering.

In this manner Dorothea moves from an oppressive marriage in the direction of moral growth. Her submission is without a sense of defeat because it is voluntary. Although she has moments of bitterness and anger, her pity for her husband enables her to overcome them (Granlund 111). By renouncing her happiness in favour of Casaubon's peace of mind and sense of safety, she escapes moral egoism and achieves self-fulfilment to a certain extent. When there is a disagreement between them, she takes the responsibility on herself in order to reach a reconciliation because, like Lydgate, she cannot bear a state of hostility and isolation. As Dorothea finds out during their wedding journey, Casaubon, who is full of suppressed self-doubt and misgivings, perceives a threat in Dorothea's eager offer to help him, and responds with hostility. It dawns on her that Casaubon's scholarly endeavours are stagnant and out of date, and his work will come to nothing. Realising that he cannot offer her a pathway to enlightenment, she replaces her dedication to him with pity and sympathy. However, Casaubon cannot see her good will. He is as blind to her nature as she is to his troubles--loneliness and insecurity. His suspicion and mistrust isolate him more and more as he comes to see her as a cruel 'accuser' and "spy' (232).

Dorothea learns to renounce her own desire for wisdom and strength through her husband. There is no longer an element of selfishness in her mission. Furthermore, Casaubon's broken health overpowers her own regrets and fills her with self-forgetful compassion. For Dorothea the most difficult occasion occurs when Casaubon asks her for a promise to carry out his work after his death. As Dorothea sees it, such a promise would extinguish all her hopes for a meaningful expression of her desires, but she cannot bring herself to 'smite the stricken soul that entreat[s] hers' (523). After a long night of deliberating on it, she decides to give in to this demand merely out of pity; 'only her husband's nature and her own compassion' (523) compels her to this. Fortunately, Casaubon dies before she gives the promise. She grows out of her belief that men are the fathers and guardians of knowledge, and by Casaubon's death she is released from the oppressive demands of a sort of father (Beer 175). The only advantage of this agonising marriage for Dorothea is that it makes her more altruistic and less selfish.

Dorothea recognises her love for Ladislaw and the sexual side of her nature when she comes unexpectedly upon Rosamond and Ladislaw and finds them in a seemingly compromising position. The pain she feels is expressed as the conflict between two images: that of Ladislaw first, as 'the bright creature, whom she had trusted', the mythic 'spirit of morning'; and second, as a 'detected illusion--no, a living man', who has betrayed her belief (844, 845). There appears no possibility of synthesising the two images so as to rescue Ladislaw's integrity from the confirmed suspicion of the community (Carroll 251). After a night of weeping, 'the dominant spirit of justice within her' (846) triumphs over her jealousy and despair. Resolving to silence her own pain for the future happiness of Rosamond, Lydgate and Ladislaw, she goes to talk to Rosamond. By this unselfish act she briefly transforms Rosamond into making a generous effort at self-forgetfulness. Dorothea is rewarded by being told that it is herself and not Rosamond whom Ladislaw really loves.

Casaubon's search for a key to all mythologies may not have been utterly worthless, but his loss of contact with fellow men and with human sexuality, and his enfeebled imagination prevented him from establishing any relationship between the past and the present. In contrast to Casaubon, Ladislaw is lucid about his feelings and he is not shut up in his own masculinity. From the beginning he is depicted as the complete opposite of Casaubon--handsome, agile, unconventional, sensitive, artistic, rebellious, spontaneous, unselfconscious, responsive to beauty and to nobility in character. When they meet in Rome, his formulation of Dorothea's imprisonment suggests how the labyrinth of classical myth becomes the imprisoning network of nineteenth-century language and beliefs: 'It is monstrous. ... You have been brought up in some of those horrible notions that choose the sweetest women to devour--like Minotanrs. And now you will ... be shut up in that stone prison at Lowick: you will be buried alive' (253). After he falls in love with Dorothea, Ladislaw gives up his dependence on Casaubon's allowance, stops being a dilettante, learns where to direct his talents and energies, and returns to England to earn his living. He understands that as long as he is financially bound to Casaubon, whom he does not respect, he cannot be independent.

Ladislaw's attachment to Dorothea is deep. He frees her from desiring martyrdom, teaches her to connect the past and the present, and enables her to feel like a woman with emotions and desires. Dorothea, in turn, gives direction to his uncertainty about how to use his knowledge and ideas. They abandon the model of mentor and pupil and exist on equal terms. Although with an artist's liberal philosophy of individual happiness, Ladislaw counterposes Lydgate's utopianism as well as Dorothea's ethos of stoic duty; he is not an irresponsible pleasure-seeker. He rejects the advances of Rosamond, who has become bored with her husband and he leaves Middlemarch after Casaubon's death not to compromise Dorothea (Semmel 94). That he is not after money is seen clearly by his rejection of Bulstrode's offer of five-hundred pounds annually. His love for Dorothea directs his interest to the practical reforms with which she is concerned. He makes plans to study law in order to prepare himself for public service despite the fact that before meeting Dorothea he seemed to have an aversion to adopting a profession. Under Dorothea's guidance he learns to channel his energy and potential to national politics, intent on a liberal mode of compromise and gradual reform (Semmel 92). As Catherine Neale notes (86-87), in his identification with the press and with politics, Ladislaw is a man of the future. His optimism seems to carry him toward success despite the calumnies spread about him because of his foreign blood. What makes Ladislaw successful in the realm of politics is his realistic assertion that compromise is essential to action in the political realm. He seems able to justify the means by the end. Lydgate, on the other hand, is impatient of half-way measures and compromise. He is motivated by his desire for pure professional ethics. Dorothea faces a moral and political choice between the two, and decides to follow Ladislaw, in whose mode of compromise and gradual piecemeal reform she finds fulfilment (Semmel 92).

Dorothea's marriage with Ladislaw may not be the fulfilment of her youthful dreams, but it is an improvement on the first because it is based on mutual love, respect and understanding. They teach each other and develop together. She reconciles herself to the possibilities available to her in the real world and Ladislaw adopts a purposeful life. In Middlemarch she is spoken of as 'a fine girl who married a sickly clergyman old enough to be her father, and in little more than a year after his death, gave up her estate to marry his cousin--young enough to have been his son, with no property and not well-born' (896). Yet, Dorothea never repents her decision to marry Ladislaw. Through him she is able to turn her romantic ideals into action. She gives him 'wifely help' (894) in his struggle against the wrongs in society. The narrator remarks that 'the effects of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive' (896) despite her failure in making out for herself the life to which she aspired. Dorothea, too, feels that 'there was always something she might have done if she had only been better and known better' (893), thereby admitting and recognising her limitations. By refusing to view life solipsistically and accepting the life that best suits her, she is able to reconcile her ideals with the facts and achieve wholeness (Perlis 176). She finds some scope for achievement in helping her husband, who is working for the passage of Reform, thus participating in a movement that would eventually prevail.

Lydgate, like Dorothea and Casaubon, is desirous of finding connections. He searches for a primitive tissue to demonstrate the relations of living organisms. He wants a career of scientific research and discovery, and medical reform to improve the state of medical science. He hopes that 'the two purposes [research and practice] would illuminate each other' (176). Like Dorothea, he wants to make the world better and he is in a more advantageous position than her to accomplish his goals. He has had very good education, and he knows exactly what he wants to do, unlike Dorothea whose ideas of doing good are rather vague. He is idealistic, intelligent and warm-hearted, but too self-assured, contemptuous of lesser men, unaware of his own weaknesses, prejudices and lack of judgement in certain areas of life, particularly in relation to women and money (Granlund 109). He has been attracted to medicine partly because it needed reform both in its professional practice and in its scientific procedures. He has been educated in three top universities of that period--London, Edinburgh and Paris--and thereby possesses unusually high qualifications. His treatment of Raffles, Fred and Casaubon is based on recently published books in the field. In his research also he is up-to-date (Neale 35), but his alms and ambitions are misunderstood, feared and translated into defects of his character by patients and fellow doctors alike. His experiences as a general practitioner in Middlemarch symbolise provincial resistance to the progressive 'new'; but he refuses to recognise early enough the pressures of provincial society, which contributes to his professional failure.

Lydgate's marriage, like Dorothea's, binds him to a lesser nature. Like Dorothea again, he is deceived partly by his own illusion and by his over-confidence in his own judgement. His marriage with Rosamond, prompted by his 'spots of commonness' (179), destroys his higher aspirations, his wish to use his intellectual power for the social good. Rosamond has been completely fashioned according to masculine dictates and matches all men's idea of a woman. She is 'her own standard of a perfect lady" (196). She has been atrophied by her condition as a woman dependent on the home either of husband or father. The fact that that type of women trap men into delusion is seen in Lydgate at the time of marriage: 'Lydgate thought that ... he had found perfect womanhood' (387). Moreover, she makes him believe that 'this sweet young creature depended on him for her joy' (336). Rosamond, who has 'a great sense of being a romantic heroine' (331), reads Lydgate as if he were a character in a romantic novel. He, in turn, misreads Rosamond, taken in by her 'eyes of heavenly blue, deep enough to hold the most exquisite meanings an ingenious beholder could put into them' (139).

It is Lydgate's aristocratic connections that make him attractive to her. Rosamond feels superior to the people around her and finds the people who frequent her parents' home vulgar. To remedy her situation she resorts to fantasy. What gives direction to her character is her ambition to be the wife of the most distinguished man in Middlemarch. What she calls 'falling in love' is the product of a romance woven from her own fantasy (Wright 27). Lydgate fits her dream of a well-connected, handsome stranger perfectly. For her it is only natural that Lydgate should return her love. The tone and the attitude of the narrator reflect pity for her egoism and narrowness, as she has been formed by the narrow mercenary values of society and her mother's indulgence. Her lack of emotion makes her omnipotent in relation to the fullness of Lydgate's emotions, whose dread of a loveless life weakens him.

She never questions her behaviour. 'She had a Providence of her own' (297), notes the narrator. The community accepts and approves the image she projects. Lydgate struggles to sustain his affection for her in the face of her indifference to his life's goals and her increasing alienation from him as financial problems emerge. His sympathetic effort is linked to his romanticised attitude toward women; that is, his imagining women to be weak both in body and mind. He falls back on conventional ideas of female vulnerability and male responsibility to resolve their stalemate; hence, his puzzlement and anger at her strong, wilful actions, her scheming behind his back. As Thomas argues (12-13), his denial of personal fulfilment for Rosamond's merely serves to embitter him. His submission to Rosamond's will is full of suppressed resentment and a sense of defeat (Granlund 111). Rosamond, however, has no difficulty in maintaining her balance. As the daydream world of her marriage fails, she replaces it with a new daydream around Ladislaw's adoration of her. With the collapse of this vision, her world is in ruins, but only for a short while. She soon resumes her high self-image and continues her old way in which there is full accord between role and identity.

Lydgate fails to recognise himself in what Rosamond makes of him while she fails to respond to the image he has of her. He falls short of his ambitions, acting in opposition to his highest ideals (Wright 41). He comes to understand that ethical choices are more complex than he thought. He cannot reconcile his former self with the new one. Perlis notes (145-46) that Lydgate's dissolution at the hands of Rosamond and under the community standards is reflective of problems other characters in the novel also face. His disintegration begins when he learns that compromise is necessary for success. The gap between his goals and the means to their attainment emerges first in his super-sensitivity to the small town politics and his desire to form the most beneficial alliances. The gap widens with his marriage. As he borrows more money than he can afford to pay back, he becomes preoccupied with matters distracting to both physician and researcher. Unable to persuade his wife that they have to cut down on their expenses, he compromises his strength of character and loses his self-esteem (Perlis 147). He moves away from the integration of his personal and professional life and ruins both. It is implied that if his scientific ardour had been more absorbing and if he had been less determined to have an affectionate atmosphere at home, he might have crushed her narrow-minded schemes of opposition, because what he wanted to do, unlike Dorothea's vision, was not in itself impossible, but he becomes paralysed by Rosamond's opposition, incapable of perseverance and resolve. The prejudice of Middlemarchers who find Lydgate's ideas 'flighty, foreign notions' (295), the envy of the older doctors and the gossip about his methods of treatment also play a large part in his inability to put his ideas into practice. When salvation is offered through Dorothea, he is no longer able to free himself from the 'creeping paralysis' (825) of his despair owing to a loss of faith in himself. Unlike Dorothea, he cannot find fulfilment of self through self-forgetfulness. His sense of superiority and pride in himself make him concerned chiefly with his own failure rather than the worthiness of his cause. Even after he starts earning a good income in his practice in London and on the Continent, he regards himself as a failure because he has not done what he once meant to do.

When we reach the Finale, having analysed the characters and the circumstances thoroughly, we should ask students to deduce for themselves which characters have managed to acquire self-knowledge and knowledge of others, and to achieve some of their initial goals, and which ones have been defeated due to their inability to come to terms with their shortcomings. By this time, the necessity of compromise between aspirations and realities, which seems to be Eliot's main argument, should have become explicit; if not, the teacher should point it out be examples from the narrative. In the Finale, the narrator concedes sadly that Will and Dorothea's 'young hopefulness of immediate good ... has been much checked in our days' (894), and Lydgate's ambitions have been thwarted completely. As Lydgate recognises, individual identity is not only influenced by the larger organism, it is actively defined by it (Shuttleworth 107). Dorothea attempts to break free of those limits commonly ascribed to the social lot of women, but the strength of 'her full nature' (896) is diverted by marriage, and she is 'absorbed into the life of another' (894) impelled by the conditions of her day, but she does not relinquish her search for goodness and greatness, and reconciles herself to being satisfied with less than she aspired to. The small changes for good Dorothea prompts in her environment with respect to Farebrother and Lydgate may be regarded as leading toward the general good of the world. The genesis of morality is in the struggle of egoistic and altruistic desires; hence, happiness and life will be reconciled only when duty and love have united (Robertson 9-10).

To conclude, the novel reveals that because of the limitations in human nature as well as the pressure and resistance of the environment, we cannot realise most of our ideals. Consequently, we have to learn how to reconcile ourselves to what we can achieve even though that is much less than what we originally aspired to. The growth of the individual and his/her integration with life can only be achieved by the recognition and acceptance of internal and external constraints.

Works Cited

Bedient, Calvin. Architects of the Self: George Eliot, D. H. Lawrence and E. M. Forster. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1972.

Beer, Gillian. George Eliot. Brighton: Harvester, 1986.

Carroll, David. George Eliot and the Conflict of Interpretations. CUP, 1992.

Chase, Karen. Landmarks of World Literature: Middlemarch. CUP, 1991.

Eliot, George. Middlemarch. Penguin, 1965.

Granlund, Helena. The Paradox of Self-Love: Christian Elements in George Eliot's Treatment of Egoism. Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International, 1994.

Neale, Catherine. George Eliot: Middlemarch. Penguin, 1989.

Perlis, Alan D. A Return to the Primal Self: Identity in the Fiction of George Eliot. New York: Peter Lang, 1989.

Robertson, John M. George Eliot: Moralist and Thinker. Edinburgh: Folcroft Library, 1972.

Semmel, Bernard. George Eliot and the Politics of National Inheritance. O.U.P., 1994.

Shuttleworth, Sally. "Middlemarch: an Experiment in Time". Middlemareh: George Eliot. New Casebooks. Ed. John Peck. London: Macmillan, 1992.

Thomas, Jenny. Reading Middlemarch: Reclaiming the Middle Distance. Ann Arbor: UMI Research Press, 1987.

Woolson, Abba Goold. George Eliot and her Heroines. Edingurgh: Folcroft Library, 1976.

Wright, T.R. George Eliot's Middlemarch. New York: Harvester Wheatsheaf, 1991.

I am a full-time professor in the English Language Education Department of METU. I teach courses in fiction and drama. My publications are mostly in the field of fiction.
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Date:Jun 22, 2003
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