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Middlemarch | Study Guide

George Eliot

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Middlemarch | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about George Eliot's Middlemarch. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

middlemarch-george-eliot_UPDATESources: BBC, Encyclopaedia Britannica, PBS, Literature Network, The New Yorker, Victorian Web, The Week Copyright © 2016 Course Hero, Inc.Narrator, Chapter 75Middlemarchby the NumbersBad marriages that drive Middlemarch's plot2Different names the author used—including Mary Anne Evans, Maria Evans Lewes, and Mrs. John W. Cross7Parts in which Middlemarch was originally published8Earliest English reference by Eliot to music as "pop"1862Born Mary Ann Evans, the Victorian novelist wrote under the male pseudonym George Eliot. She brought a profound understanding of human nature to Middlemarch, a panoramic work that Virginia Woolf called "one of the few English novels written for grown-up people."GEORGE ELIOT1819–80AuthorThemesSet in a fictional English town, Middlemarch follows characters who aspire to heroic callings and the pursuit of meaningful lives. But because of external roadblocks and their own "spots of commonness," they tragically exchange their beautiful dreams for ordinary paths and commonplace goodness.What Defines a Good Life?MAIN CHARACTERSDorothea BrookeChooses a husband who appears learned and wiseTertius LydgateIDEALISMPASSIONLOSSWants to perform great deeds for mankindStymied by an oppressive husband but finds herself after his deathChooses a wife who appears gentle and beautifulWants to originate medical breakthroughsSlave to a demanding wife and ruined by debt and scandalEdward CasaubonAttempts to write The Key to All MythologiesWill LadislawWants to find his genius in a suitable vocationRosamund VincyHopes to marry an upper-class manKnowledgePeople want to enhance their minds and live purposefully.Right vs. WrongQuest for TranscendenceEveryone wants to be special.SymbolsThe Key to All MythologiesSymbolizes the empty illusion that a person can access comprehensive knowledge and objective truthPier GlassSymbolizes the "light" of the ego, which organizes random events into a pattern of meaningThe Portrait of Will Ladislaw's GrandmotherSymbolizes women's trials following marriageDo moral people always know the difference? en and women make sad mistakes about their own symptoms, taking their vague uneasy longings, sometimes for genius, sometimes for religion, and oftener still for a mighty love.George Eliot187172EnglishNovel AuthorYears PublishedOriginal LanguageMiddlemarch