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Adam Bede | Study Guide

George Eliot

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Adam Bede | Characters

Character Description
Adam Bede Adam Bede is a master carpenter and paragon of integrity who learns how to be less morally rigid as a result of his and others' sufferings. Read More
Dinah Morris Dinah Morris is a Methodist preacher and a paragon of virtue who learns to accept God's joy as well as sorrow. Read More
Hetty Sorrel Hetty Sorrel is a vain, heedless, shallow young beauty who dreams of rising above her station by having a love affair with the local young squire. Read More
Arthur Donnithorne Arthur Donnithorne, also called Captain Donnithorne and the Captain, is a young, well-meaning but spoiled gentleman who is overcome by lust. Because he doesn't consider the consequences of his actions, his dalliance with Hetty Sorrel results in the ruin of her life. Read More
Mrs. Poyser Matriarch of her family, Mrs. Rachel Poyser is an excellent dairywoman. Both outspoken and wise, she provides comic relief in the novel. Read More
Mr. Irwine Mr. Adolphus Irwine, also called Rev. Irwine, Pastor Irwin, the vicar, and "Dauphin" (by his mother) is an educated, kindhearted Anglican clergyman. Read More
Alick Alick is a shepherd who works for the Poysers at the Hall Farm.
Kester Bale Kester Bale (or Kester Beale), who works at the Hall Farm for the Poysers, is a gifted laborer.
Lisbeth Bede Lisbeth (also called Mrs. Bede) is the mother of Adam and Seth Bede. An argumentative woman, she nags her sons and shamelessly favors Adam.
Thias Bede Thias (Mathias) Bede is the often-drunk, irresponsible father of Adam and Seth Bede. He drowns himself accidentally at the beginning of the story.
Seth Bede Seth Bede is Adam's easygoing younger brother. He is a Methodist in love with Dinah.
Mrs. Best Mrs. Best is the Donnithornes' housekeeper.
Mr. Jonathan Burge Mr. Jonathan Burge has a carpentry business in which he employs Adam Bede as his foreman.
Mary Burge Mary Burge, Mr. Burge's unmarried daughter, is in love with Adam Bede.
Casson Casson is the Donnithornes' butler and also serves as the landlord for the Donnithorne Arms, a public house.
Mr. Craig The Donnithornes' gardener and something of a know-it-all, Mr. Craig is in love with Hetty.
Ben Cranage Ben Cranage, also called Wiry Ben, is a carpenter who teases the Bede brothers, his co-workers in Burge's shop.
Bessy Cranage Bessy is the flirtatious daughter of Chad Cranage and cousin of Bess Salt (also called Timothy's Bess).
Chad Cranage Chad Cranage is the town blacksmith and Bessy Cranage's father.
Miss Lydia Donnithorne Miss Lydia Donnithorne is the old Squire's unmarried daughter and Arthur Donnithorne's aunt.
Squire Donnithorne Squire Donnithorne, also called the old Squire, is Arthur Donnithorne's grandfather and a rigid old miser much disliked by his tenants.
Mr. Gawaine Gawaine is a member of the gentry and a friend of the Donnithornes.
Miss Anne Irwine Miss Anne Irwine is Mr. Irwine's invalid sister.
Miss Kate Irwine Miss Kate is Mr. Irwine's other single sister.
Judith Judith is Mrs. Poyser's dead sister and the Methodist aunt who raised the orphaned Dinah. She is mentioned in the novel but never appears.
Will Maskery Will Maskery is a wheelwright (wheel maker) who takes to Methodism and improves his character as a result.
Bartle Massey Bartle Massey is Hayslope's misogynistic schoolteacher and friend of Adam, his star pupil.
Molly Molly is the Poysers' housemaid.
John Olding John Olding is a laborer who finds Hetty's dead baby under a pile of clippings and woodcuttings.
Mrs. Pomfret Mrs. Pomfret is Miss Lydia's lady's maid who teaches Hetty to mend lace.
Charlotte Poyser Charlotte, called Totty, is the Poysers' youngest child and still a toddler.
Mr. Martin Poyser Mr. Martin Poyser is the husband of Mrs. Rachel Poyser and a meticulous farmer with no use for sloppy practices. Hetty is Mr. Poyser's niece.
Mr. Martin Poyser Sr. Mr. Poyser Sr. is the father of Mr. Poyser. He attends the birthday party of Arthur Donnithorne.
Marty Poyser Marty is the Poysers' seven-year-old son.
Tommy Poyser Tommy is the Poysers' nine-year-old son.
Joshua Rann Joshua Rann is the village shoemaker, the church sexton, and a fiddle player.
Bess Salt Bess Salt, called Timothy's Bess, is married to Jim Salt (also called Sandy Jim), who works in Mr. Burge's shop.
Sarah Stone A widow and shopkeeper, Sarah Stone takes Hetty in on the day she gives birth.
Mum Taft Mum Taft is the oldest carpenter in Jonathan Burge's shop.
Tim Tim is a wagoner on the Hall Farm run by the Poysers.
Ben Tholoway Ben Tholoway is a thresher who separates seeds from plants during a harvest on the Hall Farm and who is given to minor acts of petty larceny.
Mr. Thurle Mr. Thurle is a prospective tenant for the old Squire.
Colonel Townley Colonel Townley, a magistrate, first sees Dinah preach in the village of Hayslope and meets her later at the jail where Hetty is being held.
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