How does the Prelude affect how readers view the book?
The Prelude focuses readers on the role of women in the book and in society at the time. Eliot writes “Many Theresas have been born who found for themselves no epic life…” and Middlemarch itself is potentially a story of such women, like the Brooke sisters. The Prelude asks readers to look more closely at Eliot’s female characters to find a cygnet among the ducklings. This direction immediately focuses readers on the way women act and are treated, whereas with no Prelude the focus may be more unclear.
Why do you think Eliot wrote under a pseudonym?
At the time, female novelists were only...
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