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Study Of Feminism In Middlemarch English Literature Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Literature
Wordcount: 5549 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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George Eliot was a significant female writer in the 19th century; her life was close related to her works; her life experience attributed themes to her lterary works, and the relation between her works and her life experience had been studied by many researchers for a long time. George Eliot’s masterpiece Middlemarch, since its publication, earned many readers and critics in English society. Dorothea, in Middlemarch, was a feminist; this heroine had been studied through the views: the combination of George Eliot’s idealism and Vitorian realism, George Eliot’s view of marriage, feminist linguistic-psychoanalysis. The success or failure of Dorothea’s feminism is paid close attention all the time.

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In this paper, the writer uses case study analysis to study Dorothea in a multidimentional view, and makes a further development of her feminist revolution. This paper will analyze the background of Victorian period, Dorothea’s character, view of marriage, then based on the analysis, the author puts forward that George Eliot had a new recognition about feminism. Dorothea, the heroine in Middlemarch, to some extent, penetrated George Eliot’s thought, and also got new meaning of female in marriage, in life and even in society.

Key words feminism; Victorian Period; George Eliot; realism; idealism; character

1. Introduction

George Eliot, penname of Mary Ann Evans, was one of the greatest writers in the 19th century. She was regarded as the one of those who wrote the best novels for adults. In her writing career, controversy and outrage accompanied her. George Eliot’s critical reputation came from the very start when she began to issue works by using the pseudonym of George Eliot to cover her identity of the unmarried wife of George Henry Lewes. When she worked in Westerminster Review, she knew George Henry Lewes, who she thought understood her and could lead her to a wise life, then in 1854, she began to live with George Henry Lewes, an extrodinary man of letters who wrote philosophy, science, fiction, and drama. Their marriage was not accepted in English society and considered to be immoral. Under the encouragement of George Henry Lewes, in 1857, Mary Ann Evans wrote her first fiction The Sad Fortunes of Reverend Amos Barton and published in Blackwood’s Magazine. It could be said without exaggeration that, it was George Henry Lewes who created an eximious female fictional writer –George Eliot of the 19th century. In her 60s, George Eliot married John Walter Cross for a legal marriage.

Because of her immoral relationship with George Henry Lewes, she faced virtual ostracism. Though many critics followed her, her intellect was never hidden; her later works earned her recognition as well as the love of the reading public. She was recognized as “the greatest writer in Victorian age”(the author’s translation,项星耀, 1987:6). Virginia Woolf commented that, “she was a woman of pride and model”(the author’s translation, Virginia, qtd. in 杜隽, 2006:1); her novels stood in “the list of a handful of English novels written for adults” (the author’s translation, Virginia, qtd. in 杜隽, 2006:1).

The whole life of George Eliot was rebellious, and was regarded as unsensible. She struggled between realism and idealism; she wanted to make full use of herself though she was a female, however gender was discriminated before the 20th century. As a feminist and idealist, George Eliot had a profound significance in feminism among the Victorian novelists. Her works were combined with her real life experience. Middlemarch, since its publication, had been recognized as George Eliot’s finest achievement, written when she was at the height of her power.

Middlemarch had been recognized as George Eliot’s work of her combination of idealism and realism, as well as the portray of her real life. In her life, George Eliot married John Walter Cross for a husband’s surname; she finally bowed to conservative society and got the forgiveness of her family. In Middlemarch, George Eliot, created a heroine, Dorothea, for feminine emancipation. Not to mention the success or the failure of Dorothea’ s emancipation revolution, she was the product of George Eliot under the general effect of her real life experience, her idealism and realism to the English society in the 19th century.

In Middlemarch, George Eliot aimed to creat a great young lady, who had profound knowledge and a virtuous heart for human beings. For a long time, she lived in her idealistic society that a knowledgeable young lady could help to make a better life for society. While at the end of the fiction, George Eliot made her heroine back to reality; the heroine was recognized as the soul of George Eliot herself; she was also considered to be the representative of George Eliot’s feminine revolution. As a model of feminist, Dorothea was not like traditional women, not paying much attention to her dress; she pursued to help the prevailing society, not only living for self-admiration. With the shock of reality and personal idealism, in this novel, she had two marriages in the way of pursuing her high range of spirit and positional satisfaction. In this novel, she had objection on her ideal way. She made great efforts to marry Mr. Casaubon, who was much older than her, which was a sacrifice. Mr. Casaubon was not that kind of great soul as she thought to be. Finally, Dorothea had a usual end. After the death of Mr. Casaubon, her heart beated strongly for finding a man and married him, who really understood her views and took women as independent and equal individual; they were equal in marital relations, and took part in social activity; both of them found their value in marriage.

George Eliot’s masterpiece Middlemarch¼ŒA. C. Dicey described it as “a book which may be said, almost without exaggeration, to have made for many persons the chief happiness and interest of the last year” (George Eliot, 1992:3). This book brought her many critics and approve; in Middlemarch, George Eliot’s heroine for femimine emancipation was an incarnation of George Eliot; she struggled for feminine emancipation under her idealism and the realism in society background.

This paper is to study the life experience of George Eliot, her idealism and realism in the English sociey, in order to figure out how these factors affected her feminism in the real English society, as well as how they attributed to her heroine in Middlemarch. Thus the paper aims to make a further study of Dorothea’s feminism in Middlemarch, focusing on George Eliot’s life experience, her idealism, and realism of Victorian period. Under the study of such factors, the writer can draw a conclusion that the feminine emancipation of Dorothea could not be a failure, but it was her new attitude toward life as well as marriage—- wives were and should be the great man beside her successful husband.

2. Literature Review

By the time George Eliot died on December 22, 1880, she was recognized as the greatest of comtemporary English novelists. Her whole writing life left many literary works and comments to later generations to study and research. George Eliot was a writer of appreciation and depreciation. George Eliot’s works reflected the politics, philosophy, science, religion, and genders. Her literary works had been studied by scholars from home and abroad since 19th century.

In 1884, George Willis Cooke in George Eliot: A Critical Study of Her Life, Writing and Philosophy mentioned that “George Eliot was a product of her time; some knowledge of her early home and the influences admist which her mind was formed, helped largely to an appreciation of her books and the views of life which she presented in them” (George Willis Cooke, 1884). George Eliot was a realistic writer, in her works, she reflected the 19th science attainments, philosophy, and genders. In Middlemarch, George Eliot created an agloat young doctor named Lydgate, a feminist named Dorothea, an old pedant named Casaubon, and a romantic named painter Will Ladislaw. Through these roles in her works, George Eliot showed her brilliance. George Levine once commented that George Eliot had been discovered that since the Second World War it was her brilliance and intellectual depth of her fiction gave her appreciative reputation. George Levine also mentioned that George Eliot was a realist; she was self-reflexive in that her life experience attributed a lot of themes to her works.

Besides that, as a feminist, George Eliot also showed herself struggling against men-dominated society. Kate Flint in George Eliot commneted that “in George Eliot’s writing, alertness and acute consciousness of the injustice to which they gave rise, necessarily chafed against the doctrine of submitting to a sense of broader social duty”(George Levine, 2001). George Eliot’s feminism was not noly seen in her life but also in her works, making clear in fields of education and marriages. In her masterpiece Middlemarch, one third of the pages penetrated her feminism. The heroine, Dorothea, thirsted for knowledge, thus had two marriges in her life. However, in the 19th century, women was decoration of men; the ideal women were the decoration in her house. Women’s great importance lied in reproductiveness. Biomedical discourse defined females in terms of her reproductive function as the following description:

a biological entity, a sexed body’: Woman’s nature and her social role were said to be controlled by her womb and her ovaries, and were the inevitable and indivisible consequences of her reproductive and the female organization another… (Joanne Shattock, 2001:79)

At abroad, there have studies about feminism, George Eliot’s introdction, critical study of George Eliot, and the relation of George Eliot and the Empire. At home, many scholars have studied George Eliot from her views of marriage, feminism, philosophy, ethic, and the harmonizing and synthesizing of realism and idealism.

In 2006, Wang Pei issued a thesis to discuss George Eliot’s view of marriage in Journal of Chongqing University of Science and Technology. She mentioned that though George Eliot had a rebellious love and marriage, she was still that kind of conservative women in 19th century. She longed for love as well as legal marriage; she also held that women could get desired happiness only when they felt satisfied with the mediocre marriage life. Her view of marriage was reflected in Dorothea, who dreamed to be a great female and contributed to society, finally back to a common housewife.

Then on George Eliot’s feminism, in 2004, Vice Professor Dong Shumin studied in Zhejiang Social Science that George Eliot expressed her feminism in Middlemarch that females and males were unequal to the public all the time, if women wanted to show themselves, they must realize the limitation of women from the society. Women could have their distictive importance, which was to affect males, making males become some kind of man. Just as George Eliot’s heroine, Dorothea, she married Will Ladislaw and made him be s successful man; Dorothea herself became a common wife for love and desired happiness as well as femine fullfilment in family.

Though George Eliot was a feminist, even she had idealistic and fair society for females to make full use of themselves, she had to bow to reality. In George Eliot: Harmonizing and Synthesizing Idealism and Realism, Doctor Zhang Jinfeng pointed out that George Eliot was an inborn idealist, combining her realistic aesthetics with her idealistic life and society for females, even for human beings. Even so, she could not avoid reality and finally converted to reality. In Middlemarch, she would like to creat ideal polictics, education and marriages, in which female was free. Dorothea was a role under her idealism. Dorothea’s first marriage, with Casaubon, was all her idealism, she could not chage the men-dominated thought of Causobon. Finally, she would like to have a husband who really cared females, then married Will Ladislaw, and became a wife and mother. The end of Middlemarch was the surrender of idealism to realism.

Based on the above analiysis, there is the information that George Eliot was a idealist as well as a realist; her works set on the real society but also embraced the profound effect of her idealism. While, social limitation made George Eliot hard to build an ideal world. All her thoughts affected in her works. Thus here is the gap that George Eliot’s life experience, her feminist, her idealism and realism contributed to her works, especially her heroine Dorothea in Middlemarch. In this paper the writer aims at the above mentioned factors and make a further study of Dorothea’s feminism, through analyzing the difference between George Eliot’s ideal feminism and the feminism in Victorian period, Dorothea’s character, as well as her two marriages, to illustrate that Dorothea got a new cognition of women’s status and feminine emancipation in marriage, even in society.

3. Feminism in Victorian Period and George Eliot’s Feminism

As a female writer in the 19th century in the English society, George Eliot lived in a men-dominated society; she was not satisfied with the rising condition. As a feminist against the serious society for females, George Eliot struggled between ideality and reality.

3.1 Real Feminism in Victorian Period

In the 19th century, females’ status was discriminated and inferior to males. The English socity was a men-dominated society; men were superior to women, no matter in politics, economy, society, family and marriage. Though Queen of Victoria was at reign, women’s status was not equal to men’s. Women were limited to work in politics, science, education, social activities, and literary and so on. A wifehood or womanhood should be the best profession of a female. An ideal lady should be what Virginia Woolf called-“the Angel of the House”(Virginia Woolf, qtd. in 董淑铭, 2004:1)

At that time, people took for granted that a woman should not be educated for self-development, but for self-renunciation. They were sent to study in girls’ schools, to learn how to be an ideal wife. They learned music and entertainment; they were trained to be peaceable, obedient to males, and not having personal thoughts. To the public, a lady with few opinions about their husband, society and politics was virtuous. In such a society, women were born to suffer and to be in a disadvantageous status in family, education, occupation and marriage, first as a daughter and then a wife. In family, daughters were dependent on her father or brother. After marriage, they were dependent on their husband. If left without any heritance and remaining single, daughters would lead a miserable life.

In marriage, girls could not have their own choice. They were the property of their father to use for land and estate; always, they were used by men to consolidate social status. In the 16th century, when Elizabeth was at reign, a father chose a husband for his daughter, if the daughter did not agree to get married, she would be locked in a room and heavily punished. In the 19th century, women could choose their own beloved, but the beloved should be accepted by their family, most importantly by their father, if it turned out to be not, their family might disengage their relationship or would not give help when they were in trouble. Because of the limitation in occupation, education, family and marriage, women were not encouraged, even allowed to work outside the house, thus women’s self satisfation was based on the success of being a wife. They seeked for inspiration to be an ideal wife, mother, and do well in housework. The following words can best describe women’s feelings of being inferior:

“As long as I can remember, I have been discouraged, when I have endeavoured to cast the sum of my intellectual value, by finding that I did not possess, in the degree of some other men, an intuitive perception of intellectual beauty…”(Godwin, qtd. in Joanne Shattock, 2001:14).

The 19th century could be said to be a turn of feminine status; thanks to Industrial Revolution, women could go out of homes to work in factories, but their salary was much less than men’s. Moreover, their jobs were insignificant, for instance, a tutor, a nurse and so on; after Industrial Revolution, they had one more choice—-a worker. In Victorian Era, literature in English was at the height of devolopment. Many female writers emerged, for example, sister Bronte, Jane Austen, Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, May Sinclair, George Eliot, and so on. However in the 19th English society, female writers were not given high recognition of their writing talent; they chose to publish their works by using pseudonym. “‘A woman and her book are identical’—-or so Edgar Allen Poe reflected when reading an early collection of poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning” (Joanne Shattodk, 2001:8). Female consciousness had been awaken, and most of their works were about seeking for feminine status in society; females were more independent in their opinions, thus they began to write in order to uncover their sufferings and defend for their occupations.

3.2 George Eliot’s Ideal Feminism

Victorian Age was the trend of realistic literary. As a successful realistic novel writer, Gorge Eliot was born in a family of land agent, and spent her childhood in the rural environment within the country of Warwickshire in the mid lands. Her childhood and her living environment provided her with plenty of material for her earlier works. Due to the reality, George Eliot’s later works had a big change. “In George Eliot’s later novels, characters and situations seem more and more to be projections of ideals in her mind” (Zhang Jinfeng, 2005:61).

“George Eliot created her art out of a cluster of rebellions, particularly against reigning social, moral, and aesthetic conventions” (George Levine,2001:2). George Eliot’s living exprience made her an idealist; she wanted to change her social status, even all feminine social status, therefore limited to the reality, she wrote down what she had in mind. “A woman and her book are identical” (Joanne Shattodk, 2001:8). Her unique personality, education, and moral belief made her an idealist.

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To begin with, she was a religious freethinker. She was sent to boarding schools together with her elder sister. In one boarding school, George Eliot met a female teacher, Maria Levis, who was a piously Evangelical. With the instruction, George Eliot became a piously Evangelical too. “But her friendship with religious freethinkers in Coventry in the early 1840s reinforced her own growing doubts and led to a break with orthodox religion” (George Eliot, 1992:1). From the very beginning of 1842, she claimed that she would not go to church, not to pray, not believe in God any more.

Besides, George Eliot strongly held that it should be of the very importance for females to receive systematic education as well as have their own occupation. She herself went to boarding schools from 5 years old to 17 years old. She learned language, science, and piano. She was a lady who never gave up pursuing her value. The following cited event could voice her support for feminine education:

She sympathized with the movement for women’s education and donated 50 pounds towards the establishment of Girton, a Cambridge college for women. Her support for women’s educational reforms led her to attend a series of letures at Bedford College for Ladies during these years and moved her to ‘contribute to Emily Daves’s campaingn for the establishment of Girton College’ and to other feminist efforts to ‘open the professions to women in the 1850s and1860s. (ibid, qtd. in 曹丽娜¼Œ2007:19)

Not only approving of women education, George Eliot also earned a living herself. When she was 29 years old, George Eliot’s father died; in Victotian English society, an unmarried, intellectual lady without any inheritance from father, would lead to a miserable life. But George Eliot decided to stay in London and earned the living herself. Later, she began to be an editor for Westminster Review.

In marriage, George Eliot broke the traditional convention of marriage. She fell deeply in love with a married, acknowledgeable man, named George Henry Lewes; at that time, George Eliot had been a publicly well-known female; though she was ostracized by English society , her works was criticized, and her family was angry with that, she was determined to live with George Henry Lewes as an unmarried wife. In George Eliot’s mind, women could have their own choice of marriage, even though the whole world would not accept her, she still sticked to her love. Her view about marriage was somehow penetrated in Dorothea in Middlemarch. Dorothea, when 18 years old, was determined to marry a pedant who was almost twenty years older than her, which was not understood by citizens of Middlemarch.

Ralph Waldo Emerson commented that George Eliot was “a young lady with a not quiet and serious soul” (Emerson, qtd. in 杜隽, 2006:7). George Eliot was inborn ideal; life made an idealistic George Eliot. The following cited paragraph demonstrated George Eliot’s whole life and her idealism well:

As an overly intense and bookish child in a pratical household, as a fervid evangelical adolescent Christian doctrine, as an independent woman editor and journalist in a social bohemians, and finally as the unmarried domestic partner of George Henry Lewes, George Eliot was always strecthing the norms of acceptable female behavior, and bringing social rejection upon herself. (George Levine, 2001:21)

4. The Character of Dorothea

Dorothea, under the background of Victorian English, was a female representative to struggle for female emancipation. Her beauty was not like the traditonal females, and she thirsted for profound knowldege as well as made full use of herself. All these made her a unique female in Middlemarch.

4.1 Rebellious Charm of Dorothea

In the 19th century, the girls of middle class attached importance to their appearance and dress.; lace, flouce, and bowknot were prevailing. The rich young ladies wore fashionable dress and jewelries. They were sent to learn music and painting, which could improve their charm. A conventional charming lady, as to the men and even to the public, should “lays herself out of a little more to please us. There should be a filigree about a woman—-something of the coquette. A man likes challenge. The more of a dead set she makes at you the better” (George Eliot, 1992:79).

Focusing on simple dress was a means of good cultivation. Dorothea held the belief that a remarkably clever woman should not pay much attention to appearance, even so, she still had her charming beauty. “Her hand and wrist were so finely formed that she could wear sleeves not less bare of style than those in which the Blessed Virgin appeared to Italian painters; and her profile as well as her stature and bearing seemed to gain provincial fashion gave her plain garments” (Gorge Eliot, 1992:1). She didn’t like jewelries either, when Celia (Dorothea’s sister) reminded her of looking at mama’s jewels and divided them, she was busy drawing her building, obviously forgetting them. After opening the box, she liked none of them, except gems and a bracelet to match it. Dorothea liked the gems because of her inspiration of the Revelation of St. John, “It is strange how deeply colours seem to penetrate one, like scent. I suppose that is the reason why gems are used as spiritual emblems in the Revelation of St. John….” (George Eliot, 1992:9). Though she took them, she thought wearing them was some kind of sinking.

Dorothea not only didn’t pay attention to her dress, but also appreciated that kind of plain appearance, which was contrary to the beauty criteon of the public. In chapter nine in Middlemarch, when Casaubon showed around his house to the Brooks, when seeing portraits, Celia said that the aunt wearing necklaces was more beautiful than Cassaubon’s mother; however, Dorothea pursued that kind of immortal figure, as when she entered the room, she could image that Casaubon’s mother—- “the ghost of a tight-laced lady revisiting the scence of her embroidery” (George Eliot, 1992:66).

To the public, females were born to please males; ladies should dress beautfully, had sweet voice and could paint, and that kind of ladies were charming. On contrary, Dorothea regarded them as silly gentlewomen. She insisted on her sense of beauty; at the party before her marriage, “she came into the drawing room in her silver-grey dress—-the simple lines of her dark-brown hair parted over her brow and coiled massively behind” (George Eliot,1992:78). On such a significant occasion, she did still not rig out her figure gorgeous, simple as Santa Barbara as who she was pursuing. In Middlemarch, Rosamond Vincy was recognized as a representative of charm and she was a famous beauty in province , “she has excellent taste in costume, with that nymph-like figure and pure blondness which gives the largest range to choice in the flow and colour of drapery”(George Eliot, 1992:86). A fair lady should have charming image as well as could play an instrument, sing songs and draw; when facing people, she should keep amiable smiles. Dorothea didn’t like playing any instruments, her behavior was like a saintess, which to others was quite unusual and rebellious. Even so, she was a recognized distinctively beautiful lady; her plain garments added more dignity to her statue and bearing. In contrast to her sister Celia, people might say that Dorothea was remarkbly clever, but Celia was more sensible.

4.2 Dorothea’s Thirst for Knowledge

Dorothea and her sister Celia were orphans; their parents died when they were very young. The sisters were sent to boarding schools, an English family and a Swiss family to receive education in order to get them ready in the market of marriage. But Dorothea didn’t like ladies’ duities; she liked studying religion, science, and those knowledge which could do good to society. She admired those who was knowledgable and could devote himself to society. The living environment and social status attributed to Dorothea’s mode of thinking during her life. She seeked for eternal theory; compared with her sister, she had less common-sense in that “her mind is theoretical, and yearned by its nature after some lofty conception of the world” (George Eliot, 1992:4) and “since I can do no good because a woman, reach constantly at something that is near it” (Gorge Eliot, 1992:3).

To Dorothea, contribution to human was the most significant thing in life; she believed that a spiritual life involved eternal consequences. she was keen on religion; she was a fans of knowledge, for pursuing the so-called knowledge and spiritual life in her mind, she wore plain garments and gave up her hobby of horseriding which she thought to be most attractive, and was not in accordance with the other young ladies.

Dorothea knew many passages of Pascal’s Pensees and of Jeremy Taylor by heart; and to her the destinies of mankind, seen by the light of a spiritual life involving eternal consequences, with a keen interest in guimp and artificial protrusions of drapery. Her mind is theoretic, and yearned by frankly include the parish of Tipton and her own rule of conduct there… (Gorge Eliot, 1871:4)

The Victorian society was unequal for the education of girls and boys. Dorothea was thirst for knowledge, which was against the men-dominated society, and was prejudiced and unconventional to the neighbourhood. Evev so, she still grasped the precious chance to learn more knowledge—-to marry a pedant, Mr. Casaubon. She admired Casaubon’s abundant knowledge to such an extent as to think Casaubon is a distinctive man; she said to Celia “he is one of the most distinguished-looking men I ever saw. He is remarkably like the portrait of Locke. He has the same deep eye-sockets” (George Eliot,1871:15).

Dorothea didn’t want to be an idle lady of Victorian age; she longed for a guide who would light her spiritual and intellectual life. Casaubon’s emergence provided her the hope, and she thought that she could have spiritual communion with him, moreover Casaubon was a man who could illuminate her principle with his widest knowledge. Thus she married Casaubon for pursuing knowldege.

5. Two Ideal Marriages of Dorothea

As a young lady pursuing equal social status as men, Dorothea was not only different in character from the conventional women, she also had a distinct view about marriages. On the way of idealistic female emancipation, she had two marriages, first she married an old pedant for knowledge, and then a young man for true love.

5.1 Marriage for Knowledge

George Eliot was an idealist; she lived in her own world without regard to the real outer world. She struggled for female occupation and marriage, which was treacherous to convention and also became the soul of her masterpiece Middlemarch. In Middlemarch, George Eliot put her idealism inon the creation of the heroine Dorothea. Dorothea was not only a knowledge fan but also a social contributor fan. She dreamed to be a saint to rescue the world. Her garments and behavior were distinct with the conventional young ladies.

In the 19th century, females were not free to devote themselves to occupation, what they could do was to find their value in marriage no matter how remarkable the lady was. Dorothea was enthusiastic about making the society better through her knowledge and effort, but reality made her will meet much setback; she could not do anything. Dorothea, in the eyes of males, even her uncle, was childish and innocent. At the dinner party in Tipton, when Dorothea expressed her idea about land, Mr. Brook said that, “young ladies don’t understand political economy” (George Eliot, 1992:12). Furthermore, when Dorothea delivered her wish to help her uncle sort his papers, Mr. Brook said that, “No, no. I cannot let young ladies meddle my documents. Young ladies are two fighty” (George Eliot, 1871:15). Dorothea wanted to do things to make herself useful, but even in her uncle’s house, she met a lot of obstacles. She hoped someone could come to her life and led her to a spiritual and worthy life. Casaubon’s emergence was the drip in drought. Mr. Casaubon’s present gave her hope to live for others, to devote to society, and she thought that “she was going to have room for the energies which stirred uneasily under the dimness and pressure of her own ignorance and the petty peremptoriness of the world habits” (Gorge Eliot, 1992:38). Dorothea was happy that she could find her value in the marriage with Casaubon in that, she could make devote to Casaubon’s aim—-Key to All Mythologies.

Receiving Casaubon’s letter for marriage, Dorothea was too happay to think over whether Casaubon was a suitable husband for her ; she only considerded that she was suitable for Casaubon and she could make herself useful. While in this letter, Casaubon conveyed clearly that his marriage was for changing the solitary life; he needed a wife who could “supply aid in graver labours and cast a charm over vacant hours” (George Eliot,1992:37). Casaubon needed a wife as a decoration to his life; his wife should be beautiful, young and blooming, as well as easy to control and attentative to his wishes. To Dorothea, her ideal marriage was some kind of life beyond self, to which she could devote herself, and her marriage concept took its color entirely from the enthusiasm to help her husband to finish his significant work, which could also make herself glorious. As to be noble and devoted, she dreamed to be almost perfect as a saint.

In the marriage relationship, the husband wanted a tame and obedient wife; the wife wanted a knowledgeble and broad-minded husband. It was obvious that Cassaubon and Dorothea were not as much as they thought they were suitable to be spouse. In such a marriage, even though they were careful, comflict and susp

 

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