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The Real World: Reality In Middlemarch

894 words - 4 pages

What makes Middlemarch such a realistic novel is the situations and the characters in the novel are applicable to everyday life. Although the novel is fictitious, many of the characters are not overly inflated into superfluous unrealistic personalities; rather, they are relatable descriptions of everyday people. The situations may sometimes be dramatic, but no more so than in real life. The settings and the surroundings in the town of Middlemarch are also appropriate with those of reality. The aspects of reality and realism throughout Middlemarch provide a much stronger connection and relationship with the reader.

The impression given by the community in Middlemarch is similar to that of a small tight-knit community almost anywhere. In a smaller community, everybody knows everybody else, as well as their business, and more about each other's personal life than one would like to think. There is usually a town gossip spreading rumours and beginning every sentence with `did you hear?' Middlemarch as a town is no exception. While Mrs Cadwallader is busy being the town matchmaker; voluntarily involving herself in everyone's personal affairs, everyone else has their own opinion about other residents. "Oh, I go about so little; and I am not fond of gossip; I really never hear any. You see so many people that I don't see. Your circle is rather different from ours." (255). In this scene, Harriet is speaking with Mrs Bulstrode about some town gossip, and it seems the more someone claims ignorance and that they are not busybody, in fact the more informed they are.

Middlemarch has no real lead character; it has characters that appear more often than others do, but there is not one character that steals the spotlight throughout the entire novel. There will be one segment about Dorothea and Casaubon or Ladislaw, and then the novel will jump over to Rosamond Vincy and Lydgate's lives to see what is happening with them. The use of "meanwhile" throughout the novel is interesting because the events are not necessarily sequential; things are going on at the same time, or one character will mention someone else and the novel will pan over to what is happening with them. It is as though the reader is walking through Middlemarch themselves and peering in the windows of the residents. "Meanwhile, in his conversation with Raffles, he had learned something momentous, something which entered actively into the struggle of his longings and terrors." (488). Here the reader is initially being told about Mr Bulstrode, but then Raffles' name is slipped into the section and the reader is passed onto finding more out about what is going on with John Raffles.

Other elements of reality in Middlemarch are the ways that wealth and poverty are depicted....

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