Analysis Of George Eliot 's Adam Bede

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In George Eliot’s Adam Bede we witness an illustration of the discussion between not only crime, but morality, values, and extraordinarily, beauty as well. The so-called “universal ideal” of femininity is, according to our novelist’s own interpretation, being interrogated sternly. Unfortunately, what we find in Eliot’s own interrogation method of these structures is just another, albeit different, version of Liberal Humanism with its own stereotypes, judgement calls, and unfair half-treatments of women, their bodies, and their interiorities. While Eliot provides us female characters, Dinah and Hetty, as guideposts to understand women’s autonomy of decision, we are still given stale caricatures of saintly self-sacrifice and vain, illogical…show more content…
Dinah, or selfless saint, spends her time focused on the mores of the world, of the sake of the souls of people, and not on her own comfort or path. While Eliot branches out in making Dinah a Methodist Minister, she still lives into the feminine standards. Dinah pushes without pushing too hard and always seeks the betterment of others. Whereas Hetty, after she met her lover in the woods, rebuked Dinah’s attempts to help her and returned to the woods shortly there after in a state of consciousness that was“fragmented and confused,” Dinah returned to her bedchamber and and “threw herself on her knees, and poured out in deep silence all the passionate pity that filled her heart” for Hetty. Hetty, however, cannot be bothered by the concerns, desires, and vulnerabilities which exist in the other. Eliot curated Hetty to serve as the counterpoint of to the values Eliot promotes, and while she does some interesting things with how Hetty is observed by others (which shall not currently be discussed), Hetty is still representative and modelled in the stereotypical style of the vain woman willing to forgo duties and her own honor in hopes of attaining higher position and so-called “fineries.” When Hetty encounters another character she doesn’t look into engaging with their needs or wants, but rather reacts to them based merely off of her own needs. As Adam desperately attempts to flirt with her by the currant trees, Hetty is incapable of

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