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ERIC Number: ED392060
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1994
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: N/A
Changing Perceptions in "Adam Bede."
Loges, Max L.
From the very beginning of "Adam Bede," the idea of sight or perception is emphasized. Indeed by reference to a quotation from Wordsworth, George Eliot announces the purpose of the novel: to reveal clearly, to remove from the shade. While most of the characters in "Adam Bede" do not perceive events clearly and must have their erroneous opinions cast into the searching light of truth, Adam in particular must learn to see and to forgive as his perception of Hetty, Arthur, and himself is forever altered. When the reader/student first sees Adam, the impression is left that Adam believes he sees things just as they really are. While quite early in the novel, Adam recognizes that his attitude towards his father is faulty, his attitudes toward other people are more problematic. When Adam finds Hetty in the garden at Hall Farm, he misreads her, interpreting her actions in light of his own interest in her. Similarly he misinterprets the relationship between Arthur and Hetty. Through the novel, Adam is led, through a series of painful adjustments, toward a mature perception of Hetty and Arthur. While it is clear at the end of the novel that Adam still has much to learn about human relationships, as can be seen by his courtship of Dinah, it is clear that he has made major progress. Literature instructors may find this reading of "Adam Bede" helpful in their teaching of the novel. (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A