The Novels of George Eliot: A Study in Form by Barbara Hardy

By Barbara Hardy

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Exclaimed Wiry Ben; 'Lave a chap aloon, will 'ee. Ye war a-finding faut wi' preachers a while agoo— y'are fond enough o' preachin' yoursen. ' This is a deceptively casual debate which seems at first sight to be filling in background but which is actually sounding the main therne. Adam's suffering comes out of his rigidity. In the main action of the novel it is demonstrated in his attitude to his drunken father, whom he judges and finds wanting, and later in his equally uncompromising belief in Arthur and Hetty.

1 1 The very slight gradations of more and less educated vulgar speech are interesting. ' exclaimed Wiry Ben; 'Lave a chap aloon, will 'ee. Ye war a-finding faut wi' preachers a while agoo— y'are fond enough o' preachin' yoursen. ' This is a deceptively casual debate which seems at first sight to be filling in background but which is actually sounding the main therne. Adam's suffering comes out of his rigidity. In the main action of the novel it is demonstrated in his attitude to his drunken father, whom he judges and finds wanting, and later in his equally uncompromising belief in Arthur and Hetty.

They hiss . . let me go ... let me go ... she wants to drag me with her cold arms . . her arms are serpents . . they are great white serpents . . they'll twine round me . . she wants to drag me into the cold water . . her bosom is cold . . it is black ... it is all serpents. . (ch. xxiii) Violence is there besides ordinariness, the flats are given a context of excitement, the crises a context of calm and monotony. But on the whole, in the Scenes, these very violent crises are few, and they do not form part of the thematic emphasis.

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