George Eliot's moral vision : the feminine ideal

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Winston Fitzpatrick (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Randolph Bulgin

Abstract: Unlike many Victorian writers, George Eliot is not concerned with examining and defining the ideal gentleman. Instead, in her novels, most notably in Scenes of Clerical Life, Silas Marner, Romola, Middlemarch, and Daniel Deronda, she presents the reader with what I call her feminine ideal, and she evaluates both male and female characters according to it. Those characters whom Eliot most admires possess qualities that most Victorians considered to be feminine. They are self-sacrificing and also exert a beneficial influence on others, such as that described by such women's conduct guides as Louis AimĀ£- Martin's Woman's Mission. But Eliot's feminine ideal differs from the Victorian's passive angel-in-the-house. Though self-sacrificing, the characters who conform to Eliot's ideal, such as Daniel Deronda and Dorothea Brooke in Middlemarch, are active on behalf of others.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 1987
Eliot, George, $d 1819-1880 $x Criticism and interpretation
Eliot, George, $d 1819-1880 $x Characters $x Women
Eliot, George, $d 1819-1880 $x Characters $x Men

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