Middlemarch (Penguin Classics)

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pride in middlemarch


harry t #65542
Oct 18, 2008 7:55 PM

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pride in middlemarch

what are some examples of pride being a theme in middlemarch?

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kimberly w #55544
Mar 24, 2009 10:42 AM

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I don't know how you could miss it if you have read the book. Eliot refers to "egoism" about a million times. Nearly all characters suffer from one sort of egoism or another -- a focus on self. Dorothea and Casaubon both represent that type of self that cannot recognize the disparity between real and the perceived. Both project their own feelings and desires onto the other -- a situation that results in complete disillusionment for Dorothea. Other characters demonstrate the same quality of the egoism of illusion. Lydgate fancies himself safe from women, but then he falls for Rosamond's tears. Later in the book when debt is about to ruin his life, his is too proud to ask for help. Perhaps the greatest example of pride can be seen in Bulstrode; indeed, his is the worst kind of pride because he twists it up with his religion He cannot really be sorry for his sins because he is so proud of his salvation, and when, at last, he has the chance to make amends for what he has done to Will's family, he is too proud to face the downfall it would bring him. For Eliot, true moral growth comes when one can put away selfish desires and illusion and place others' needs above one's own. This was, to her, real religion.

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