Eliot, George - Research Article from Feminism in Literature

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George Eliot: Title Commentary

Middlemarch

I

Though Dorothea yearns to find a channel for doing great good, she fails both in her chosen vocation as helpmate to her first husband and in her attempts to secure independent work. Readers have often explained her failure to do good to Casaubon, her first husband, by saying that she was selfishly concerned to do what she, rather than he, sees as helpful (see Harvey, "Intro." 14-16). But while George Eliot admires Dorothea's ultimate attainment of selflessness, she does not (always allowing for her ambivalence) confound this virtue with doing good, as in her early novels (where a superhuman ideal of selflessness only makes George Eliot irrelevant for the modern reader). On the contrary, she seems to make Dorothea conform to the nineteenth-century ideal of women as self-sacrificing in order to explode...

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This section contains 10,619 words
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Buy the Eliot, George Encyclopedia Article
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Feminism in Literature
Eliot, George from Feminism in Literature. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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