By David M. Byers
George Eliot takes the well-worn story of a stunning dairy-maid seduced by means of a slipshod squire, and out if it creates a portrait of the lives of normal Midlands operating people – their labors and loves, their ideals, their speech.
This concise complement to George Eliot's Adam Bede is helping scholars comprehend the general constitution of the paintings, activities and motivations of the characters, and the social and cultural views of the author.
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Additional resources for Adam Bede Notes (Cliffs Notes)
Arthur was physically attracted to Hetty; she was attracted by the prospect of becoming his wife and gaining prestige. Although Arthur had not deliberately deceived her, he knew that Hetty, operating on her childish fantasies, expected marriage. Yet he could not undeceive her; he could not bear to give her that much pain. Thus the relationship is a web of misunderstanding, kindness, vanity, innocence, and passion. From such complex threads, Eliot implies, are all human relationships woven. Note Adam's intransigence with respect to Arthur; that pride which will not accept weakness in others is still controlling him.
Eliot separates Adam and Hetty so that we can follow only one of them at a time. She then shows us Hetty pushed almost to utter despair, seeking hopelessly for a way out of her difficulties. com hanging. And finally she tells what solution Hetty has adopted for her problems. By switching perspectives in this way, Eliot builds suspense to a much greater pitch than if she had followed Hetty through to the child-murder; instead of a steady, plausible progression, we are given a series of swift, sharp breaks.
He sadly goes back home, tells Seth and the Poysers what has happened, and prepares to set out for Ireland. He decides, though, that it would be better to tell Mr. Irwine the situation before he leaves. Commentary At this point in the novel, the consequences of Hetty and Arthur's thoughtless behavior begin to involve Adam. He had been a happy man, secure financially, secure (he thought) in the possession of the love of the woman he loved. Now his bright world is shattered, and events begin to hurry him on to a confrontation with himself and with reality.