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Adam Bede AP Lit presentation

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Alison Lafferty

on 15 February 2013

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Transcript of Adam Bede AP Lit presentation

A Victorian-era novel of elicit romance Adam Bede by George Eliot The Characters? The Plot? Themes? Victorian Characteristic: Earnestness Victorian Characteristic:
Puritan Code of Ethics Victorian Characteristic:
Man In Society Adam: hardworking, morally unrealistic at times, short temper, lives with his mother and brother, Seth
Seth: Adam's brother, a Methodist and kindhearted
Hetty: lives with the Poysers, very vain and shallow, lazy, childish, and self-indulgent
Dinah: also lives with the Poysers (Hetty's cousin), a Methodist preacher, is committed to preaching for life, very selfless, independent in her way of life
Captain Donnithorne: rich and self-absorbed, concerned with social status, tries to do right thing and fails miserably
Lisbeth Bede: Adam and Seth's mother
The Poysers: family that Dinah and Hetty live with, they have a few other children that the two older girls care for Seth is in love with Dinah who is committed to a life of religious devotion while Adam hopelessly loves Hetty, who in turn hopelessly loves Captain Donnithorne, who is above her social level and can therefore never be with her. Despite this, the Captain leads Hetty on, and although Adam is later engaged to Hetty, Hetty runs away, pregnant with the Captain's child, only to kill this child when it is born and be put on trial and almost executed when the Captain rushes in and argues her sentence down to exile. Distraught Adam, meanwhile, falls into the arms of Dinah, who had turned Seth down earlier. --in matters of love, the easy way cannot be taken

-it is those with inner beauty (character traits to be admired) as opposed to those with mere outer, physical beauty that may prosper in the end

-matters of the heart can be complicated enough to drive many to unthinkable measures Adam says "if you mean behaving to a woman as if you loved her, and yet not loving her the whole, I say that's not th' action of an honest man, and what isn't honest does come to harm." This displays Adam's earnestness of character to do the right thing because he feels the need to say something in regards to the Captain's and Hetty's honor. He is determined to right any wrongs that have been made. His character throughout the book portrays this; Adam Bede is the epitome of earnestness, embodying it in all of his actions. Much of the Puritan code of ethics is found in the way George Eliot describes these characters. For instance, Mrs. Poyser is described as thus: "The most conspicuous article in her attire was an ample checkered linen apron... and nothing could be plainer or less noticeable than her cap and gown, for there was no weakness of which she was less tolerant than feminine vanity, and the preference of ornament to utility." Description such as this is an example of how pleasure was not valued as much as doing what was morally right in the Victorian era; Puritan ethics specified that people had work hard and do what was best for the community, which is evident in how many of the characters including Mrs. Poyser are described. The book focuses more on how the characters react to one another than their internal conflicts at many times. For instance, when Adam finds out about Hetty and the Captain, he feels that "he had been robbed of Hetty... and he stood close in front of Arthur, with fierce eyes glaring at him... the hard tones in which he had hitherto been constraining himself to express no more than a just indignation giving way to a deep agitated voice that seemed to shake him as he spoke." By including scenes such as this one, George Eliot reflects on how the Victorian era represents how characters act in society. In this case, this is done by showing how Adam slowly loses control and has to deal with having no respect toward someone he looked up to in his society.
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