Personal Qualities, Inner Conflicts and Motivations in "Adam Bede" Book Review by Patricia

Personal Qualities, Inner Conflicts and Motivations in "Adam Bede"
An analysis of the characters in "Adam Bede".
# 154146 | 2,882 words | 11 sources | 2014 | US
Published on Mar 30, 2015 in Literature (English) , Women Studies (General) , Literature (General)

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This paper contains a plot summary and portrayal of the characters in Adam Bede, highlighting their personal qualities, relationships with other characters, and motivations that impact the novel's chain of events.

From the Paper:

"In Eliot's novel, the hardworking, honest young carpenter Adam Bede, the main character, is respected by his neighbors, including Captain Arthur Donnithorne, the grandson of a wealthy local landowner. Adam has a promising future and was self-assured, he "had confidence in his ability to achieve something in the future; he felt sure he should some day ... be able to maintain a family, and make a good broad path for himself" (Eliot 254). Adam's employer, the builder Jonathan Burge, hopes the young man will eventually become his partner and also marry his daughter Mary. Adam, however, is enamored of Hetty Sorrell, a pretty dairymaid and a niece of Mrs. Poyser, whose husband Martin manages the prosperous Hall Farm. For her part, Hetty fancies the handsome young captain. Adam's dissolute father, Mathias Bede, drowns while on his way home from the village tavern, and his devoted but querulous mother, Lisbeth, becomes even more dependent on her son. Adam's brother, Seth, is in love with a dedicated Methodist preacher named Dinah Morris (another of Mrs. Poyser's nieces), but she rejects his marriage proposal, claiming that her vocation makes marriage impossible.
"When Captain Donnithorne returns to Hayslope on leave from his army regiment, his grandfather hosts a festive party to celebrate his twenty-first birthday. Almost all of the villagers take part in the occasion, and Adam is invited to sit at Captain Donnithorne's table. Several weeks later he is returning home one night and sees Hetty Sorrel and Captain Donnithorne embracing; Hetty flees after hearing Adam's dog bark. Adam confronts Donnithorne, who claims to have stolen a kiss from the innocent girl; Adam angrily knocks him unconscious. Alarmed, Adam helps Donnithorne recover and then convinces him to write to Hetty and inform her that they must not meet again. Heartbroken at losing her lover, Hetty accepts Adam's subsequent marriage proposal. Adam, now a partner in Burge's business, decides to postpone the wedding until he can build some additional rooms onto his house. Sometime later, Hetty leaves Hayslope, claiming she is going to visit Dinah, who is preaching in the town of Snowfield."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Works Cited
  • Adam, Ian. The Structure of Realisms in Adam Bede. Nineteenth-Century Fiction 30 (1975): 127-49.
  • Brady, Kristin. George Eliot. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1992.
  • Cooper, Lettice. George Eliot. London: F. Mildner & Sons, 1966.
  • Corbett, Mary Jean. Representing the Rural: The Critique of Loamshire in Adam Bede. Studies in the Novel 20 (1988): 288-301.

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