Reading for Our Time: ‘Adam Bede’ and ‘Middlemarch’ Revisited

J. Hillis Miller
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Reading for Our Time: ‘Adam Bede’ and ‘Middlemarch’ Revisited
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Rachel Bowlby writes:

Towards the end of Middlemarch, Dorothea spends a mostly sleepless night following a dream-ending encounter the day before. At dawn, she goes to her window:

She opened her curtains, and looked out towards the bit of road that lay in view, with fields beyond, outside the entrance-gates. On the road there was a man with a bundle on his back and a woman carrying her baby; in the field she could see figures moving – perhaps the shepherd with his dog. Far off in the bending sky was the pearly light; and she felt the largeness of the world and the manifold waking of men to labour and endurance. She was a part of that involuntary, palpitating life, and could neither look out on it from her luxurious shelter as a mere spectator, nor hide her eyes in selfish complaining.

(LRB 11 April 2013)

Published by Edinburgh University Press
05 March 2012
Paperback
ISBN: 9780748647286

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