Type: Definition Essays
Sample donated: Stephen Nunez
Last updated: September 19, 2019
AdamBede (1859)is her first novel with the new type of fiction that is completely differentfrom other Victorian novelists.
For her, novels, like poetry, also can give anddramatize moral situations about the quality of human life and their condition.Though her work appears less realistic when compared with other modern works,she initiates large steps that help to allow for the creation of contemporaryfiction. Her work was radical and innovative in its time, contributing a lot toEnglish literature. Her major innovation is rural realism focusing on thecommon man. The writer gives a promise of recreating a look into the past forthe readers through a picture of Jonathan Burge’s workshop exactly as it was inthe city of Hayslope in Loamshire, England, in 1799.
After mentioning thecarpentry workshop, she concentrates on a tall, strong young working man namedAdam Bede. Eliot portrayed the plot of Adam Bede from the death of Mary Voce,who was executed in 1802 for killing her child. The story of Voce was told toEliot by her Methodist aunt who visited Voce in jail.
Adam Bede, a proficient and polite carpenterin the Midland village of Hayslope, is in love with Hetty Sorrel. She is abeautiful niece of the farmer Martin Poyser. The landlord of that villageArthur Donnithorne is also attracted to Hetty, and she vainly dreams ofbecoming the squire’s wife. Adam observes Arthur’s romance with Hetty and triesto intervene, but to no effect. Arthur abandons Hetty after seducing her. Adamis still loyal to Hetty even after her desertion by Arthur and she agrees tomarry him.
But when she discovers that she is pregnant, she runs from home in adesperate search for her lover. Adam is shocked and he is soothed in his griefby Dinah Morris, a young Methodist preacher. She is proposed to by Seth Bede,Adam’s brother, but his love proposal goes with wind. Hetty does not findArthur Donnithorne, and the unlucky Hetty is arrested, accused of the murder ofher child and convicted.
Dinah becomes her comfort before she is sentenced; atthe end Adam marries Dinah. However, Eliot’s use of realism is alsoessential. The realistic depiction of the characters and circumstances isstrengthened by the pointed portrayal of Dutch drawing in Chapter 17 of AdamBede, “George Eliot began her career by defiantly identifyingher art with Dutch painting. The well-known manifesto for which”the story pauses a little” in the seventeenth chapter of her firstfull-length novel, Adam Bede (1859), constitutes a defense of domesticrealism in words and pictures alike”(Yeazell 91). Dutch painting is consideredas a weak form of art by Eliot’s peers, not because the average way of paintingit, but rather because the theme does not relate to the artistic point ofbeauty which is appreciated by friends and foes at the same time. By endorsingthis type of art, the author endeavors to confirm her illustrations of”ordinary, crude people.” It is rather non-surprising taking into accountGeorge Eliot’s involvement with morals and realist truth in her daily lifehighlights, that Adam Bede gives a clear and precise manifestation onthe roots and consequences of unwanted social volatility, hence, the realism isdominant in her novel.
(Miller 7-8) George Eliot is the creator of the”psychological realism” as fictional historians and theorists call her. Whilethe novel Adam Bede concentrates on the main characters transition from aninsensitive moral dominance to a case of compassion and acknowledging of otherpeople, there happens to be other important themes. Adam Bede is mainly reportedas a rustic novel talking about moral disputes in the society which gives anexplanation of presence of the pastoral setting which emphasizes the change ofEnglish culture from modest ingenuousness to experience-based, leaving thereaders nostalgic to simpler times. 1.2 Realismand Human Nature in the Novel Eliot’scharacters are realistic because she writes about human nature skillfully andthat is the secret of her writing. The human nature is an important issue ofunderstanding characters in literature, essentially the discussion of humannature will include the human condition, human society and how we live ourlives, in other words it means to understand the fundamentals of humanexistence. The definition of human nature is the general psychologicalcharacteristics, feelings, and behavioral traits of humankind, regarded asshared by all humans (Oxford Dictionaries 2017). According to Stevenson, Haberman, and Wright “the humans interact with the worldwith their senses and their understanding (reasoning and language)”.
Reasonalso plays a special role for human beings- they use it to integrate all theirknowledge, in “the scientific search for a unified theory of all natural phenomena.”(279) The current chapter is to focus mainly onthe human nature in Eliot’s Adam Bede. Human nature is one of thethemes which dominates this novel and is most commonly analysed. Thedistinction most clearly symbolizes the human nature between four major charactersin the novel, Adam Bede, Hetty Sorrel, Dinnah Morris, and Arthur Donnithorne. Throughout the story, we could see theauthor implementing many factors and elements that strengthen the sense ofreality in the novel. The first element is the social classes system where thenobles, like the Squire and Arthur, the Farmhands, like the Poysers, andworking people, Adam and Hetty, are all different and cannot really mixtogether, although the whole community is built on them working