Thursday, September 2, 2010

Thoughts on Middlemarch by George Eliot

Yea! Finally done with Middlemarch. It wasn't that I didn't enjoy it. It was a long book and it took me almost a month to read. I summarized my thoughts halfway last week but I thought I would talk a little about the characters and why I liked or didn't like them.
Dorothea-Probably my favorite character in the book. Dorothea longs for a life different that she has. She longs to be poor (or maybe just not as rich). She wants to learn more and not be constrained by what's right for women to learn. Dorothea speaks her mind overall and, in my mind, is the most steady of the characters.
Mr Casaubon-I liked Mr Casaubon at the beginning. Over time, I pitied him. Here's this older gentleman, doing ok in life. He meets this young woman who wants to be his companion and assist him with his writings. After marrying Dorothea, it seemed like he didn't know what to do with her. Honestly I think he probably would have been better off with a secretary than a wife.
Mr Brooks-This man's speech patterns annoyed the crap out of me. Overall nice man, just never looked forward to him speaking.
Celia-Not as much substance as Dorothea. But she served as a nice opposite to Dorothea. Celia was happy to get married, have babies, and do as expected by the rest of society.
Rosamond-Similar to Celia. She was a good opposite to Dorothea as well. I did want to write her off but she proved helpful at the end. After she marries Mr Lydgate, Rosy has to learn that life sometimes isn't as easy as it was when you live with your folks.
Fred & Mary-Probably my favorite couple. I loved the evolution of "them". I was excited by their happy ending in the Finale. I also liked her mother and father. Could have read a book about the Garths on their own happily.
Will-My favorite male character. In the beginning he seemed like a shyster but redeemed himself in my eyes by refusing Mr Bulstrode's money and attempting to leave Dorothea to live her life without his interference.
Overall I enjoyed Middlemarch. Especially the last half. Once I understood what was going on and what Eliot was trying to do (the life of a town's inhabitants and how they affect each other), I relaxed and enjoyed Middlemarch. It's a beautiful story of love, family, honor, trust, patience, and society.
Other's who have read and shared their feelings on Middlemarch: Things Mean A Lot, Vishy's Blog, and  Bookstove.


  1. Congrats on finishing! I shall have to try to get to reading Middlemarch one day.

  2. Congrats on finishing! Do you feel all accomplished? I know I did :P And yes - "Could have read a book about the Garths on their own happily" - yes, me too!

  3. I have to chime in with you and Nymeth and say that I would also pick up a book all about the Garths. I loved them! I put off reading your post until after I had posted my second review of Middlemarch. I too really enjoyed the last half especially - it's like the work we put in as readers to get to know all the characters and the set-up was rewarded handsomely by how the storylines ended up.

    - Christy


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