The Heart of Midlothian Social Concerns

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The principal social concern in The Heart of Midlothian, one of Sir Walter Scott's best works, is a remarkably modern one.

The chief moral issue concerns the admirable heroine of the story (perhaps the bestdrawn female character in the entire range of Scott's fiction), Jeanie Deans. She must decide whether to commit perjury in order to save her sister's life. That the "lie" would be a relatively minor one—just a matter of whether the sister, Effie Deans, had told Jeanie that she was pregnant—is of no real consequence to Jeanie; she has been brought up to believe that the truth must prevail— any truth, all truth. Jeanie's alternative is to admit that Effie never told her of the pregnancy. This situation developed because of the strict Scottish laws concerning child murder—a matter that calls to mind the furor over...

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This section contains 916 words
(approx. 4 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy The Heart of Midlothian Short Guide
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The Heart of Midlothian from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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