Chanakya National Law University: Nyaya Nagar, Mithapur, Patna-800001

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DECLARATION I here by declare that the project entitled “George eliot’s Novel-Felix Holt ”submitted by me at CHANAKYA NATIONAL LAW UNIVERSITY is a record of bona fide project work carried out by me under the guidance of our mentor DR. PRATYUSH KAUSHIK .I further declare that the work reported in this project has not been submitted and will not be submitted ,either in part or in full, for the award of any other degree or diploma in this university or in any other university.

-----------------------RITESH KUMAR ROLL NO: 1963


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT It is a fact that any research work prepared ,compiled or formulated in isolation is inexplicable to an extend .This research work although prepared by me is a culmination of effort of a lot of people who remained in veil, who gave their intense support and helped me in the completion of the project. Firstly I,am very grateful to my subject teacher Dr. Pratyush kaushik without the kind support and help to whom the completion of this project was a herculean task for me.He donated his valuable time from his busy schedule to help me to complete this project .I would like to thank his for her valuable suggestion towards the making of this project. I am highly indebted to my parents and friends for their kind co-operation and encouragement which helped me in completion of this project .I am also thankful to the library staff of my college which assisted me in acquiring the sources necessary for the compilation of my project . Last but not least,i would like to thank the almighty who kept me mentally strong and in good health to concentrate on my project and to complete it in time . I thank all of them!

-------------------------(RITESH KUMAR) ROLL NO:1963 B.A.LLB(HONS) SESSION :2018-2023 ii | P a g e

CONTENTS 1. Introduction……………………………………………………………………….................. 

Aims and objectives………………………………………………………………....

Review of literature ………………………………………………………………....


Research questions………………………………………………………………….

Research methodology……………………………………………………………...

Sampling method …………………………………………………………………..

Sources of data collection ………………………………………………………….

Mode of citation ……………………………………………………………………

2. Major characters of felix holt …………………………………………………………….... 3. Treatment of values in the novel of George eliot…………………………………………... 4. Major themes and critical reception ……………………………………………………….. 5. Conclusion and suggestions………………………………………………………………... Bibliography

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1.INTRODUCTION During the time of the Reform Act of 1832, the story centres on an election contested by Harold Transome, a local landowner, in the "Radical cause" ("Radical" because Transome's version of "radicalism" isn't radical at all, but rather an application of the term to his politically stagnant lifestyle), contrary to his family's Tory traditions. Contrasting with the opportunism of Transome is the sincere, but opinionated, Radical Felix Holt. A subplot concerns the stepdaughter of a Dissenting minister who is the true heir to the Transome estate, but who is unaware of the fact. She becomes the object of the affections of both Harold Transome and Felix Holt1. Felix Holt, the Radical (1866) is a social novel written by George Eliot about political disputes in a small English town at the time of the First Reform Act of 1832. In January 1868, Eliot penned an article entitled "Address to Working Men, by Felix Holt". This came on the heels of the Second Reform Act of 1867 which expanded the right to vote beyond the landed classes and was written in the character of, and signed by, Felix Holt. During the time of the Reform Act of 1832, the story centres on an election contested by Harold Transome, a local landowner, in the "Radical cause" ("Radical" because Transome's version of "radicalism" isn't radical at all, but rather an application of the term to his politically stagnant lifestyle), contrary to his family's Tory traditions. Contrasting with the opportunism of Transome is the sincere, but opinionated, Radical Felix Holt. A subplot concerns the stepdaughter of a Dissenting minister who is the true heir to the Transome estate, but who is unaware of the fact. She becomes the object of the affections of both Harold Transome and Felix Holt.2 As the story starts, the reader is introduced to the fictitious community of Treby in the English Midlands in 1832, around the time of the First Reform Act. Harold Transome, a local landowner, has returned home after a fifteen-year trading career in the Middle East. Wealthy from trade, he stands for election to Parliament from the county seat of North Loamshire. But contrary to his family's Tory traditions, he intends to stand as a Radical. This alienates him from his traditional allies and causes despair for his mother, Mrs. Transome. Harold Transome gains the support of

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via,02-03-19,5:30 pm Felix Holt, the Radical, Classic Serial - BBC Radio,02-03-19,5:35pm


his Tory uncle, the Rector of Little Treby, and enlists the help of his family lawyer, Matthew Jermyn, as an electioneering agent. Much of his electioneering is focused in Treby Magna. In this village resides Felix Holt, who has recently returned from extensive travels in Glasgow to live with his mother. He meets with Rev. Rufus Lyon, a Dissenting minister in Treby Magna, and his stepdaughter, Esther. Felix and Mr. Lyon become ready friends, but he appears to treat Esther with condescension. Felix and Rev. Lyon both appear aligned to the Radical cause. Harold Transome learns that Jermyn has been mismanaging the Transome estate and embezzling money for himself. Transome remains silent during the election, yet Jermyn tries to devise a plan to save himself from future prosecution. Meanwhile, Felix witnesses some electioneering for the Radical cause in the nearby mining town of Sproxton. He is upset with the 'treating' of workers with beer in exchange for their vocal support. Felix relays his concerns to Harold Transome, who chastises John Johnson for his electioneering methods. However, Jermyn convinces Transome not to interfere. Rev. Lyon learns from Maurice Christian, servant of Philip Debarry, about the possible identity of Esther's biological father. Rev. Lyon decides to tell Esther the truth about her father. Esther's outlook on life changes upon finding that she is in fact Rev. Lyon's stepdaughter. Her relationship with her stepfather deepens, while she also desires to emulate the high moral standards impressed upon her by Felix Holt. Seeing the change in Esther's character, Felix Holt begins to fall in love with her. However, both share the feeling that they are destined never to marry each other. Meanwhile, Rev. Lyon challenges Rev. Augustus Debarry to a theological debate. The debate is initially agreed to, but is cancelled at the last minute3. Riots erupt on election day in Treby Magna. Drunken mine workers from Sproxton assault townspeople and wantonly destroy property4. Felix Holt is caught up in the riots, and tries foolhardily to direct its hostility away from the town. But in the end, Felix Holt is charged with the manslaughter of a constable who tried to break up the riot. Harold Transome also loses the election to Debarry.

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Harold Transome begins legal proceedings against Jermyn for the latter's mismanagement of the Transome estate. Jermyn counters by threatening to publicise the true owner of the Transome estate. However, Maurice Christian informs the Transomes that the true owner of the estate is in fact Esther Lyon. Harold Transome invites her to the Transome estate, hoping to persuade her to marry him. Harold and Esther establish a good rapport, and Esther also becomes more sympathetic with Mrs. Transome, whose despair has continued to deepen. Esther feels torn between Harold Transome and Felix Holt. She compares a life of comfortable wealth with Harold Transome and motherly affection with Mrs. Transome, to a life of personal growth in poverty with Felix Holt. Meanwhile, at Felix Holt's trial, Rev. Lyon, Harold Transome and Esther Lyon all vouch for his character, but he is nevertheless found guilty of manslaughter. However, Harold Transome and the Debarrys manage to have Felix Holt pardoned5. Harold Transome proposes to Esther Lyon, with the eager support of Mrs. Transome. But despite Esther's feelings towards both Harold and Mrs. Transome, she declines the proposal. In an altercation between Jermyn and Harold Transome, it is revealed that Jermyn is Harold Transome's father. Harold considers he will no longer be suitable for marriage to Esther. Esther also surrenders her claim to the Transome estate. The story ends with Felix Holt and Esther Lyon marrying and moving away from Treby, along with Rev. Lyon. Matthew Jermyn is eventually ruined and moves abroad, while John Johnson remains and prospers as a lawyer. The Debarrys remain friends with the Transomes, and the contest to the Transome estate, while widely known, is never discussed.6

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AIMS AND OBJECTIVES 1. The researcher tends to throw some light on the plot summary of the novel. 2. The researcher tends to throw some light on the major characters of this novel. 3. The researcher tends to throw some light on the literary significance and criticism of the novel.

HYPOTHESIS The researcher presumes that: 1. The researcher presumes that whole plot is based on the political senario. 2. The researcher presumes that the novel felix holt is the expression of the personality of the George Eliot . 3. The researche presumes that the novel deals with the fictitious community.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS 1. What are the status of juvenile in Bihar? 2. What are the main reason for their worst condition as compare to another state? 3. How their condition can be improved ?

RESEARCH METHODOLOGY The researcher use both doctrinal and non-doctrinal research methodology.

SAMPLING METHOD Researcher has used purposive and convenient method of sampling due to paucity of time and various limitations while doing research.

SOURCES OF DATA COLLECTION The research is based secondary sources of data 7|Page

MODE OF CITATION The researcher have followed a uniform mode of citation throughout the course of this project.


2.MAJOR CHARACTERS OF FELIX HOLT Some of the major characters who played very vital role in this novel7:

Felix Holt – Young, earnest and opinionated Radical recently returned to Treby Magna from a medical apprenticeship in Glasgow. Felix Holt prefers a life of working-class poverty over a life of comfortable wealth. He works as a watchmaker, supporting his mother and an adopted child, Job. Although not a churchgoer, he befriends the Dissident minister in Treby Magna, Rev. Rufus Lyon. Felix is initially disdainful of Rev. Lyon's refined daughter, Esther, but his attitude towards her eventually begins to soften and he falls in love with her. His earnest but imprudent actions earn the disdain of many Trebians, and land him in trouble during the election day riots.

Harold Transome – 35-year-old wealthy landowner recently returned to Treby from a 15year trading career in the Middle East. He returns to England a widower with a young son, Harry. He runs for the county seat of North Loamshire in parliamentary elections as a Radical, contrary to his family's Tory traditions. Not long after his return to England, he discovers Jermyn's mismanagement of the Transome estate, and while using Jermyn as an electioneering agent, Harold Transome devises legal proceedings against him. The relationship between the two men deteriorates as the story progresses. Jermyn confronts him with information on a possible contestor to the ownership of the Transome estate. Harold Transome also takes a liking to Esther Lyon later in the story.

Esther Lyon – Stepdaughter of the Dissenting minister in Treby Magna, Rev. Rufus Lyon. Esther earns a modest income as a teacher. She also has a refined sense of fashion and manners. Her refined appearance and behaviour appear repugnant to Felix Holt at first, but her developing earnestness softens his disdain. Learning that she is not Rev. Lyon's biological daughter does not diminish her filial affection, but rather it strengthens their relationship. Her new past brings her potential new wealth when she learns that she is the true heir to the Transome estate. Later in the story, Esther feels torn between Felix Holt and Harold Transome, both of whom are in love with her.8

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Rev. Rufus Lyon – Dissenting minister in Treby Magna, who has one stepdaughter, Esther. He befriends Felix Holt, a Radical. He also learns from Maurice Christian the possible identity of Esther's biological father. Throughout the story, the bond between his stepdaughter and him grows stronger, and he remains a helpful friend to Felix Holt.

Matthew Jermyn – Transome family lawyer and former manager of the Transome estate. He agrees to act as Harold Transome's agent during county elections. However, after Transome discovers his mismanagement of the estate, Jermyn devises plans to stave off prosecution. He discovers a possible contestor to the ownership of the Transome estate, information which he tries to use against Harold. Jermyn also earns the disdain of John Johnson and Maurice Christian. He also holds one other secret from Transome.

Mrs. Transome – Mother of Harold Transome. Her husband's senility has left her in charge of the Transome estate while her sons are absent. Prior to the beginning of the story, her irresponsible oldest son has died, and she is eagerly anticipating her younger son's return to England. Harold Transome does return, but her expectations of their happy future life are dashed soon after. Her son treats her kindly but insensitively, and Mrs. Transome's despair over her changing situation deepens as the story progresses.

Maurice Christian – Servant of Philip Debarry. He discovers and reveals critical information to various characters at different stages throughout the story. Sir Maximus Debarry learns through Maurice Christian that Harold Transome is a Radical candidate. Rev. Lyon learns through an interview with Christian the possible identity of Esther's biological father. Jermyn confronts Christian about his past, identifying him as Henry Scaddon, a criminal who was held in a French prison with one Maurice Christian Bycliffe, with whom he swapped names. Mr. Bycliffe was thus discovered to be Esther Lyon's biological father. Maurice Christian encounters a bill sticker named Tommy Trounsem who has a rightful claim to the Transome estate. But upon Trounsem's death, Maurice Christian informs Harold Transome about Esther Lyon's rightful claim to the Transome estate.

John Johnson – Electioneering agent working for Harold Transome. Mr. Johnson receives the patronage of Matthew Jermyn, although he harbours a growing sense of resentment towards his patron. He encourages a group of miners in a Sproxton pub to vocally support the Radical cause, by 'treating' them to beer, over the objections of Felix Holt and Harold

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Transome. This tactic backfires when the intoxicated workers become a riotous mob on election day. 

Thomas Trounsem – Bill sticker and resident of the Transome estate. He is in fact a member of the Transome family who lives in disempowered poverty. While he remains alive, the Transome estate legally remains with the Transome family. However, when Tommy Trounsem dies in the election day riots, Esther Lyon becomes the rightful owner of the Transome estate.

Sir Maximus Debarry – Tory baronet. He is a neighbour and traditional ally to the Transome family. However, his friendship with the Transomes is suspended when he discovers Harold Transome's position as a Radical. But after the election the friendship between the two families is restored. Sir Maximus Debarry also works to get Felix Holt pardoned.

Rev. Augustus Debarry – Rector of Treby Magna, brother of Sir Maximus Debarry and uncle of Philip Debarry. Rufus Lyon challenges him to a theological debate, which Rev. Debarry defers to Rev. Sherlock. The debate is called off when Rev. Sherlock absconds.

Philip Debarry – Nephew of Rev. Augustus Debarry and Tory candidate for the seat of North Loamshire in parliamentary elections. He sends Maurice Christian to meet with Rev. Lyon to retrieve lost personal property. Philip Debarry wins the election for the seat of North Loamshire in Parliament and is the means by which Felix Holt receives a pardon from the Home Secretary.

Mr. Transome, Snr – Father of Harold Transome. Mr. Transome, Snr is senile, and the estate is managed by Mrs. Transome and Matthew Jermyn, prior to Harold Transome's return to England. He enjoys playing with Harold Transome's young son, Harry.

Mary Holt – Mother of Felix Holt. Her situation in the story reflects that of Mrs. Transome: both of them are treated kindly but insensitively by their sons.

Rev. John Lingon – Rector of Little Treby and uncle to Harold Transome. Despite his own Tory background, he agrees to help Harold Transome with the election.

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3.TREATMENT OF VALUES IN THE NOVEL OF GEORGE ELIOT Literature is an expression of the personality of the writer, and that personality itself is formed and moulded by the times in which he or she lives. It is more so in the case of a writer as sensitive as George Eliot . She is born in 1819 and her first novel is written in 1858. Thereafter, novel after novel flowed from her pen in quick succession. In other words, the formative years of her life were passed in the opening decades of the Victorian era. There was an intellectual ferment in England, such as had never been witnessed before. This spirit of questioning, this intellectual unrest is every where reflected in her works.9 In the beginning of the Victorian era, there was a widespread faith in unlimited progress. This sense of self-satisfaction of complacency resulted from the immense strides that England had taken in the industrial and scientific fields. The nation was prospering and growing richer and richer everyday. The British empire was already a reality, the white man’s burden, or the colonizing mission of the English was already bringing in rich dividends. They attributed all this prosperity to their glorious and dominant Queen Victoria. It was an era of prosperity, an era of aggressive nationalism, an era of rising imperialism. This break- up of Victorian Compromise, traditions and conventions was accelerated by the rapid advance of science. Science with its emphasis on reason rather than on faith, encouraged the spirit of questioning. Victorian beliefs, both religious and social were subjected to a searching scrutiny and found wanting. The publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species in 1859 is of special significance from this point of view. His celebrated theory of Evolution contradicted the account of Men’s origin as given in the Bible. His theory carried conviction as it was logically developed and supported by overwhelming evidence. Before Eliot, the English novel had been almost entirely the work of those whose primary purpose was to entertain. Not that earlier novelist had lacked moral purpose; Richardson taught the passions to move at the command of virtue, and the same might have been said of Goldsmith in his Vicar of Wakefield. Of Thackeray’s moral feelings we can never be in doubt and Dickens, too, worked within a clearly suggested bunch of values. But no English novelist from Defoe to Thackeray could have been called b man of great philosophical powers and unusual erudition. Their presentation of the human scene was never in 9 02-03-19,7:45 pm

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any degree conditioned by the depth of their intellectual penetration or the profundity of their moral speculations. They were content to follow the patterns of thought of their day and to handle ideas only obliquely and symbolically. Their job was to entertain through the 3 construction of stories, not to exhibit new ideas. Though the poets in England traditionally moved in the intellectual vanguard, George Eliot was the first English novelist to move in the vanguard of the thought of learning of her days, and in doing so added new scope and dignity to the English novel. Unlike to accept simple supernatural sanctions for morality, the writers like Dickens and Thackeray found no alternative, except a facile appeal to feeling and as b result could not cope convincingly with moral problems like the suffering or death of b good character. George Eliot, who was both an idealist and agnostic and derived her idealism and agnosticism from her own intellectual inquiries into moral and religious question, had her own answers to these problems. She was the daughter of a self-educated estate manager and land agent, Eliot grew up in rural Warwickshire, attending local boarding schools from an early age. From 1837 she acted as her father’s housekeeper, moving with him to Coventry in 1841. After her father’s death, Eliot lived briefly in Geneva, returning, in 1850, to act as de facto editor of the Westminster Review under John Chapman’s ownership. She wrote a series of successful novels: Scenes of Clerical Life (1858) followed by Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), Silas Mariner (1861), Ramola (1863) and Felix Holt (1866).She also published two volumes of poetry (The Spanish Gypsy, 1868 and The Legend of Jubal, 1874). But it was the publication of Middlemarch (1871) and Daniel Deronda 4 (1876), which confirmed her status as one of the greatest 19th century Victorian Novelists.10 In all her fiction, Eliot was concerned with moral problems of characters but she never abstracted her characters from their environment in order to illustrate their moral dilemmas. She was well aware of the varied social contexts in which nineteenth-century men &women lived. George Eliot took up novel writing very seriously. She was inspired by Jane Austen and considered her novels as models of unexaggerated depiction of real life. Those who want to have excitement and sensation through art, would be sadly disappointed by Austen’s works. In Eliot’s

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opinion, any kind of exaggerated picture or portrayal of human life or character is a sin against art; and that’s why, she could not appreciate the works of Mrs. Gaskel who used to point lights and shadows in most of her novels. She says with regard to her artistic creed, “My artistic bent is directed not at all to the presentation of mixed human beings in such a way, as to call forth tolerant judgment – pity and sympathy.” She firmly believed that the aim of the novelist should be always to give a faithful picture of things as they are in nature, not as they should be according to the wishes or desires of the artist. The ambivalence of Eliot’s own social position was undoubtedly reflected in her equivocal relationship to subjects such as the woman issue or the public identity of the author. She was a writer of profound 5 intellect, blending contemporary science and philosophy into a secular realist ethic based on the principle that ‘if art does not enlarge men’s sympathies, it does nothing morally’. Actually Eliot was a natural descendant of the English Romantics and her novels are imbued with their scrupulous habits of description and essential conservatism. Although she was a formidable intellectual, she was concerned that general doctrine could eat out one morality if unchecked by the deepseated habit of direct fellow men. In her novels, she took up the romantic theory that human beings must overcome their egotism by the perpetual exercise of a vivid moral sympathy. Her art, like that of the great Romantics, reproduces the common universe, lifting the film of familiarity, which obscures from us the wonder of our being. The thesis aims to deal with moral vision dealt by George Eliot in her fiction. The study is confirmed to her four novelsAdam Bede, The Mill on the Floss, Silas Marner, and Middlemarch11. In all her fiction, George Eliot was concerned with moral problems of character, but she never abstracted her characters from their environment in order to illustrate their moral dilemmas. She was familiar with and responsive to the varied social contexts in which 19th century men and women could live; she saw the relationship between town and country, between landed families living in an ever diminishing feudal atmosphere and neighbouring provincial towns where farmer and tradesman, banker and politician, jostled each other in a word and country metropolitan and provincial, agricultural, commercial, industrial, professional, and she used her knowledge to make her characters move naturally in their daily occupations.


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She was one of the Victorian ‘sages’ as well as novelists, one of those who worried and thought and argued about religion, ethics, history, character, with all concern felt by those most respective to the many currents of new ideas flowing in Victorian thought and most sensitive to their implications. A sage whose moral vision is most effectively communicated through realistic fiction is an unusual phenomenon- or, at least, was unusual at the time when George Eliot began to write. If it has become less unusual since, that is because George Eliot by her achievement in fiction permanently enlarged the scope of the novel. Silas Marner (1861) a simple novel, much quieter in tone, is little more than a symbolic fable, though a brilliantly executed one. It has something of the tone of a fairy tale, with its story of a baby, left at the door of the lonely weaver after his gold had been taken from him, and the change in his character and way of life which his rearing of the baby brings. This novel of redemption might be considered as an antitype to Hawthornr’s Scarlet Letter, the latter being the story of the discovery of guilt and former of the rediscovery of innocence. In a sense, the novel is one of moral discovery, each of the more important characters learning the truth about himself or herself of what happens to him. But the ending is the least important part of the novel, whose richness of texture belies the simplicity of its conclusion There are other features of Middlemarch which contribute to making it one of the very greatest of English novels. The different characters and different contexts of living in town and country are shown interesting in their interests and activities in a way which is fruitful symbolic not only of the relationship between the individual and society, but also of one part of society with another. Country squire, clergyman, farmer, agricultural labourer, banker, doctor, workers and idlers in town and country, are shown in the complex network of interrelationships which itself is a microcosm of man in the world. The characters presented are thus more than individuals brought in as examples, illustration, psychological types, or carth real and symbolic, both highly individual portraits and organic parts of a carefully organized plot. The almost melodramatic apparatus George Eliot used to project certain important developments in the plot may strike the modern reader as somewhat forced, but it is not prominent enough to weaken the novel as a whole or to spoil the effect of life as it is lived, of provincial England at work, which is so important in the book. 15 | P a g e

It must be remembered that George Eliot was one of the Victorian ‘sages’ as well as novelists, one of those who worried and thought and argued about religion, ethics, history, character, with all concern felt by those most respective to the many currents of new ideas flowing in Victorian thought and most sensitive to their implications. A sage whose moral vision is most effectively communicated through realistic fiction is an unusual phenomenon- or, at least, was unusual at the time when George Eliot began to write. If it has become less unusual since, that is because George Eliot by her achievement in fiction permanently enlarged the scope of the novel.

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4.MAJOR THEMES AND CRITICAL RECEPTION Felix Holt is concerned with the social and political changes taking place in England between the 1830s, the setting of the novel, and the 1860s, when the novel was written. The values of the old order, represented by the landed interests, are set in opposition to the working class values of Felix Holt. This struggle between power and moral virtue is the most prominent theme of the novel, with the values of the working class Felix and his bride-to-be represented as superior to those of the aristocracy, represented by the Transomes, and the bourgeoisie, represented by Jermyn and Johnson.12 The novel also criticizes the shallowness associated with middle-class women during this period; such women are guilty of materialism, coquetry, sensuality, and “fine-ladyism,” as Holt calls it. Esther's rejection of these values, along with her inheritance, suggests that moral seriousness will triumph over a love of luxury and idleness. While Eliot's personal vision of political and social reform enters into the construction of Felix Holt, the Radical, neither Eliot nor her title character are as radical as appearances suggest. While the landed interests come under fire for their conservative attempt to retain power, the working class is also criticized; the workers demonstrate their unworthiness to gain the franchise they seek by their susceptibility to bribes and demagoguery. Until the working class is educated, Eliot implies, they cannot be in charge of their own political destiny. Felix Holt, the Radical is one of Eliot's least admired novels. Many scholars consider that its parallel narratives—political and domestic—result in a confusing, even incoherent plot. The fact that there are two subplots involving secrets of paternity has also led to charges that the narrative is contrived and convoluted. Nonetheless, at least two critics have emerged in the late twentieth century to make a case for the novel's unity. Florence Sandler argues for the “architectonic unity” of the political and domestic narrative strands—a unity which she believes is based on “the centrality of Esther, and the significance of her final decision; the role of Rufus Lyon; and the nature of the radicalism of Felix Holt.” Norman Vance concentrates on issues of land ownership

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and religious dissent, claiming that the novel's unifying factor is the comparison between the period in which it is set and the period in which it was written. Several critics claim that the character of Felix Holt articulates Eliot's personal vision of the appropriate reform of English society. With that in mind, many take issue with Holt's “radical” credentials, maintaining that, like Eliot, the character is more conservative than the novel's subtitle suggests. The ambivalence surrounding the character's politics leads to additional charges of incoherence within the narrative and suggestions that Holt is not always a sympathetic character. Fred C. Thomson claims that “the dearth of camaraderie in Felix, his belligerent pedantry, his aloofness from the community life in Treby, to say nothing of the shadowiness of his background and motivations and the wooden dialogue, injure his effectiveness as a spokesman for George Eliot.” Feminist scholars have also criticized Holt's character, claiming his objections to Esther's refinement and aesthetic sensibilities make him no more desirable as a suitor than Transome, who believes that women are meant to be decorative rather than functional. Such critics claim that, despite the title, the main character of the novel is actually Esther, who must choose between two “misogynist radicals,” that is, “between the radical who sees women as useless delights and the radical who sees women as temptations unless useful,” as Alison Booth describes Esther's dilemma. Nonetheless, the novel was apparently much appreciated by Leo Tolstoy, who, according to Philip Rogers, admired it principally because of its criticism of “fine-ladyism”—materialism and frivolity in middle-class women, the very things Felix criticizes in Esther. Many scholars consider Felix Holt a precursor to Eliot's masterpiece Middlemarch, suggesting that the concerns the author resolved unsuccessfully in the former novel were perfected in the latter. According to L. R. Leavis, “Felix Holt is a key novel in George Eliot's development not because of its own merits, but because of its failure in fundamental issues that establish the success of her next novel, Middlemarch.”

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5.CONCLUSION AND SUGGESTION George Eliot's primary interest in analysing a character from its moral perspective has provided her art of characterisation with a new height. She firmly believes that a human character is not cut in marble but it evolves as time passes. A chronological study of her novels reveals that almost all her major characters have evolved from egoism and moral blindness to strict morality and vision. In other words, the characters who are receptive to this positive growth have emerged as the leading figures in her novels. In her first full-length novel Adam Bede (1859), George Eliot criticizes the moral flaws of the major characters in the novel. On the one hand Hetty Sorrel's and Aurther Donnithorne's moral weakness in the form of temptation, falsehood, .licentiousness, narcissism, and unbridled, reckless living is condemned and on the other hand, the extreme moral rigidity and lack of sensitivity shown by Adam Bede does not find any support. His fault lies ln the fact that he appears to be lukewarm and unresponsive to the surroundings he lives in. He has to learn that there is more in life than good worksmanship. Only through the character of Dinah Morris, the novelist tries to represent the moral centre of her novel. However, at the end, her character becomes perfect and more sublime when she is able to get rid of doctrinal and abstract religious practice by marrying Adam out of love, compassion and humanity. In her second novel The Mill on the Floss (1860), which is an autobigraphical study, George Eliot deals with the moral tension and moral dilemma of Maggie Tulliver in the backdrop of a narrow provincial society of Victorian England. Maggie suffers because of her penchant for individual freedom and her attraction towards a passionate, reckless and venturesome life. The moral conventions of the society in which she lives is amply represented by her brother Tom who denies to accommodate Maggie's libertinism and disowns her. In fact, Maggie's conflict with her brother and her own self and .upbringing are the parts of her rebellion with the time and society in which she lives. For Maggie, as for Romola and Dorothea, rebellion against the accepted norms of society is justified as the society which they inhabit is imperfect. It is a matter of debate whether George Eliot consciously places her heroine in the dilemma of finding their own religion and to redifine morality within a world where the old values are no longer effective and the new is yet to be born.

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Maggie, Romola and Dorothea try to prove that a truly moral conduct is that which conduces to greatest length, breadth, and completenes of life even if the society is not ready to accept that for the time being. Even Simmone De Beuvior in her illustrated book 'Second Sex' salutes Maggie's inhuman conflict with her society.13 In the next novel, Silas Marner (1861) George Eliot depicts the moral transformation of Silas from a brute money- grabber to a sensitive human being by the touch of an abandoned new -born baby, who is baptised as Eppie. Silas is completely regenerated through the love and compassion of this little form of humanity. He is able to forget the land of his defamation and start a new life and he also leaves behind the blurred consciousness of 'Lantern Yard' God who punishes without just cause and owns the religion of humanity, love and fellow-feeling. Though Eliot's next four novels --- Romola (1862) Felix Holt (1866), Midd/emarch (1872) & Daniel Denonda (1876)explore wider fields of intense intellectual and ideological struggles, the conversion of her major characters from moral blindness to love and sympathy is the quintessence of all her novels. Romola (1862), notwithstanding its historical perspectives, mainly depict Romola's drastic decision to break away from her husband Tito and her urge to lead a meaningful and moral life. Her realization that moral activities are the expression of direct and spontaneous feeling and not the outcome of any theological, ideological or intellectual obligations, is the ultimate message of the novel. Felix Holt (1866), though contains important political deliberation of the time . during (1831 - 32), mainly charts the moral evolution of the protagonists in their outlook towards life and people. At first, the heroine Esther Lyon, shown as vain and discontented hankering after a life of refinement in Transome household. However, Esther slowly feels the moral void of the members of the Transome household . She is quickly convinced of Felix's superiority , and accepts his criticisms of her. Her spontaneous defence of Felix at the latter's trial to the dismay of Harold Transome, confirms her moral ameleoration. Felix, also evolves as a complete human being when his prejudice about the role of woman in the private and public life of a man is removed through the upright and bold gesture of Esther in the trial scene. In her magnum opus, Middle march (1872) the novelist observes' we are all of us born in moral stupidity, taking the World as an udder to feed our supreme selves' .1 This novel, written on a

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vast panorama and having the scope of Tolstoy's War and Peace, mainly centres around the moral growth of two impractical visionaries. Dorothea Brooke, unlike Maggie Tulliver, appears to be a bold and mature woman as she displays the ability to withstand the criticisms of her individual choice and decision. However, Dorothea's decision to accept happy conjugal life and motherhood has put a question mark on woman's intellectual abilities and her sphere of activities. Lydgate's predicament is the result of his being of man of a weak moral fibre. He decides to marry Rosamond only being attracted by her outer beauty who ultimately brings his downfall. A feminist scholar observes 'Dorothea represents a woman's desperate attempt to establish an identity for herself, to create a space for her self-expression. Her muted plea to make life good for anything is the cry of an entire generation of women seeking some form of identity. Eliot shows her entrapped in a maledominated society desperately trying to seek opportunities to realize her latent qualities' .14 Though George Eliot's last novel Daniel Deronda (1876), dwells on the 'Jews question', the central attraction of the novel lies in the moral upgradation of the heroine Gwendolen Harleth and the moral enlargement of the hero Daniel Deronda. In conclusion, my humble submission is that though the world has undergone a considerable progress and has become sensitive and liberal, true to admit, the puritan 'moral code' practised in Victorian era has not changed. lock, stock and barrel. What was condemned in Eliot's time would be criticised in these days as well. The act of Maggie's elopment, Hetty's illicit sex, Rosamond's extra-marital affairs, Romola's unilateral decision to break the wedlock or Gwendolen's loyalty towards Deronda would be questioned in present society as well. So an act of morality or immorality has a universal dimension.Herein lies the relevance and acceptability of George Eliot's novels.


Sheila Lahiri Choudhury, The Reclining Ariadane ; A Gender Reading of George Eliot's Middlemarch in Chaudhuri & Mukherjee Literature and Gender; Orient Longman Pvt. Ltd.2002, 02-03-19,9:20 pm

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BIBLIOGRAPHY 1.,_the_Radical 2. 3.,_the_Radical#Literary_significance_and_criticis m 4. 5. 6.

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