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February Week 1

Teen Reader

Middlemarch

Middlemarch

Click here to read the text version of Middlemarch

Click here to read the audio version of Middlemarch

 

About the Author

George Eliot

George Eliot (1819-1880)

George Eliot, pseudonym of Mary Ann, or Marian, Cross, née Evans, (born November 22, 1819, Chilvers Coton, Warwickshire, England—died December 22, 1880, London), English Victorian novelist who developed the method of psychological analysis characteristic of modern fiction. Her major works include Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Marner (1861), Middlemarch (1871–72), and Daniel Deronda (1876). (From Biography.com)

Middlemarch (1872)

Middlemarch, A Study of Provincial Life is a novel by the English author Mary Anne Evans, who wrote as George Eliot. It first appeared in eight instalments (volumes) in 1871 and 1872. Set in Middlemarch, a fictional English Midland town, in 1829 to 1832, it follows distinct, intersecting stories with many characters. Issues include the status of women, the nature of marriage, idealism, self-interest, religion, hypocrisy, political reform, and education. Despite comic elements, Middlemarch uses realism to encompass historical events: the 1832 Reform Act, early railways, and the accession of King William IV. It looks at medicine of the time and reactionary views in a settled community facing unwelcome change. Eliot began writing the two pieces that formed the novel in 1869–1870 and completed it in 1871. Initial reviews were mixed, but it is now seen widely as her best work and one of the great English novels. (From Wikipedia.com)

 

Questions for Middlemarch

Marriage is a central concern in the novel. Does it portray marriage as a source of happiness in life? Or does it suggest that personal happiness comes from some other source?

How does the novel portray Dorothea Brooke and Tertius Lydgate as the heroes in this work? In what ways do they differ from the others in the cultural milieu of Middlemarch? What drives each of them?  Are they similar?

Does Rosamond elicit sympathy from you? She is vain, of course, but might her upbringing be somewhat responsible for her faults? In what way does she represent the prevalent societal norms?

The narrator is a very funny and wry satirist.  Dorothea, for example, is passionate about horseback riding yet eager to renounce it, because in sacrificing her pleasure, she will prove her devotion to Christianity.  What or who else do you find humorous in the novel? And what is George Eliot satirizing?

Mary Garth refuses to burn the second will after Featherstone’s death.  What would you have done?

(Questions from Colorado State Library.org)

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