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39 - "Hayslope" and"Loamshire" are...

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This is evident when we examine the characters introduced in this chapter. None of them resemble  very closely the humble and virtuous country lads who often appear as stock characters in  eighteenth- and nineteenth-century English fiction. Wiry Ben is no saint; neither, for that matter, is  Adam Bede himself. They are typical workers in a typical workshop, quite capable of piety on the one  hand and of rough joking on the other. In the same way, there is nothing extraordinary about the town itself, except for its name. Both 
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Unformatted text preview: "Hayslope" and "Loamshire" are significant names which suggest good soil, sunny weather, rich harvests; they are contrasted in the novel against "Snowfield" and "Stonyshire," which suggest the opposite qualities. These fictitious place-names — there are no such towns and counties in England — indicate that the physical setting of Adam Bede has a symbolic, as well as a realistic, aspect....
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