Friday, February 10, 2012

Middlemarch Book 3 by George Eliot

Book III of Middlemarch reminds me of Jane Austen. Austen has a way of telling stories about a community as a whole and how all of the different characters fit into that community. Book III does that same function in Middlemarch. We have primarily two couples that we are following through Book III: Fred and Mary then Lydgate and Rosamond. Through the interaction of these couples we see how the characters of Middlemarch fit into their community, not only in professions but in social standing. I think as book continues, we will need to understand everyone’s social standing and backgrounds in order to understand the difficulties and prejudices that these couples need to overcome.

Also in Book III, the narrator changes its style. In Books I and II, the narrator has primarily been one person, that is, from one point of view. In Book III, we see, actually, four points of view from both the female and male characters of the two couples (Fred, Mary, Lydgate and Rosamond). This is important because instead of understanding one side of the relationship, we now understand both sides and how they relate to each other. Eliot uses this tactic to create tension in the story, much like the cliffhanger of Book I.

1 comment:

  1. In Book V, the narrator shows us that Dorothea exists so far above Rosamond in social life that she has not even really thought about her existence. Rosamond, on the other hand, is hanging on Dorothea's every word during her visit (for her style, not her substance). Isn't it odd how social manners of the upper class can substitute for fashion or style for middle-class women of early Victorian England? Rosamond seems fit for overlooking, but I wonder how we'd feel if Dorothea entered the Garth household and the narrator told us that she saw a "brown, unmannerly creature there" (Mary).