Adam Bede | Critical Essay by Peggy Fitzhugh Johnstone

This literature criticism consists of approximately 22 pages of analysis & critique of Adam Bede.
This section contains 6,483 words
(approx. 22 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Peggy Fitzhugh Johnstone

SOURCE: “Self-Disorder and Aggression in Adam Bede: A Kohutian Analysis,” in Mosaic, Vol. 22, No. 4, Fall, 1989, pp. 59-70.

In the following essay, Johnstone uses Heinz Kohut's psychoanalytic notion of “self-psychology” to discuss the failure of Adam Bede, and demonstrates Eliot's failure to recognize her characters' aggressive behavior as reflective of her own unresolved conflicts.

Although George Eliot's novels seem to be designed to portray her protagonists' growth from egoism and self-delusion toward self-knowledge and a capacity for empathy, critics have long noted tendencies that undermine this concern. F. R. Leavis, for example, draws attention to a “distinctive moral preoccupation” (28) which, as Barbara Hardy suggests, leads Eliot to idealize certain “charmless” characters in order to provide her readers with a “moral example...

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This section contains 6,483 words
(approx. 22 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Peggy Fitzhugh Johnstone