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Characterization in Adam Bede

Introduction:- Characterization or character delineation is a special skill of a novelist to present his characters as acceptable creatures for the readers. George Eliot stands prominent among her contemporaries as a delineator of character. he is the first novelist to dive deep into the recess of heart and soul of her characters. he also presents the real life like characters! living people of the "a#slope and ston#shire! from her memor# of childhood. $avid Cecil observes !% It is in the treatment of characters that George Eliot&s more active intellect gives her the most conspicuous advantage over the t#pical 'ictorian.% It is significant that George Eliot never forgot her childhood e(periences )hich gave a realistic touch to her )ork. he al)a#s looked up to English *idland for inspiration. he reall# e(cels in the portra#al of humble and rustic people. he uses the rustic dialect to enhance the impact of realism. *ost of her characters are the representations of her friends and relatives from real life. "ence her characters are true to life. +he# are the mi(ture of good and evil! virtues and vices. "ugh ,alker observes in this connection!% It is notorious that in the earlier novels! George Eliot dre) ver# freel# on the stories of her memor#. cene after scene! character after character! in these novels! has been identified )ith some place or person )ithin the range of her earl# e(perience. "er mansions and cottages! her lanes and meado)s! are those to )hich she had been accustomed to drive in childhood )ith her father. till more are the characters of her novels! the figures )ith )hom she had been familiar. "er father! her mother! her brother! her sister! her aunt! and herself! all appear in her pages.% In her later )orks! she turned to political e(perience of other people! problems of racial integration. "o)ever! )hen she left familiar grounds! she faltered and failed! and it is onl# in *iddlemarch that she could hold out a gleam of her former glor#. George Eliot e(cels at portra#ing the traged# of unfulfilled female longings. he identifies herself )ith her chief female characters and unfolds their inner feelings )ith masterl# strokes. Compton -ickett points out!% *aggie&s cr# for fuller life! -amola&s for ampler kno)ledge! are dealt )ith b# her )ith a striking ps#chological profundit# )hich makes her a ver# )orth# forerunner of the ps#chological novelists like "enr# .ames.% he )as a ps#chological novelist through and through. he la#s bare the ver# souls of her characters. /ike Bro)ning! she attempted to represent the inner struggle of a soul! and to reveal the motives! impulses and hereditar# influences )hich govern human action. $avid Cecil has rightl# remarked!% he tried to pierce behind the sho) of things and to reveal the forces b# )hich the# are controlled.% he )as a great anal#zer of motives. he )as a rationalist and a philosophical thinker and she brought to bear on the novel a highl# skilled intellect! a probing mind! and a searching anal#tical facult#. Another important feature of her novels is their ver# deep concern )ith human ps#cholog#. "er novels are all novels of character. Compton -ickett observes!% he )as the first novelist to la# the stress )holl# upon character rather than incident0 to make her stories spiritual rather than ph#sical dramas.% In her characterization! she displa#s both subtlet# and variet#. /eslie tephen sa#s!% In her childhood! of course! she took the colouring of her surroundings and it is this fact )hich makes her a great regional novelist.% "er school education came to an end ver# earl#. "o)ever! the education she received from the book of nature and the countr#side )as lasting and permanent. +his countr#side al)a#s kept a stronghold on her and she returns to it again and again in her novels. he )as intimatel# familiar )ith the scenes and sights of the English *idlands. Conclusion:- +he characters of George Eliot are not flat rather the# are round characters )ho develop graduall# as the stor# progresses. he also attends to the religious characters and paints them )ith due regard. +here is no e(aggeration in her characterization. he presents her characters as the# are . +he# are real! living breathing human beings. +he# are )arm! full of vitalit#! )ith human desires and )eaknesses. In addition to ma1or characters in Adam Bede! George Eliot has introduced a number of minor characters as )ell. +he# are dra)n from various )alks of the *idland life. "er picture galler# is thus complete and comprehensive. All her characters are significant to the initial plot of the novel. +he# gro) and appear )ith the course of the stor#. .oan Bennett observes!% he )as more a)are than her immediate predecessors of the comple(it# of character and her creation cannot be labeled good or bad! nor accorded the )holesale approval or disapproval of the reader as readil# as can man# 'ictorian heroes or heroines.% George aintsbur# observes!% But because she )as before all things a great artist and )armhearted and s#mpathetic )oman! she )as able to create an immortal galler# of human beings! )hose 1o#s and sorro)s can never lose their hold on the affections.% 2uite astoundingl# all her novels are peopled )ith a )ide variet# of human beings! simple and comple(! humorous and tragic! passionate and imaginative or prosaic and practical! shallo)! insincere and )a#)ard! or cultured free thinkers and m#stics and even half-)itted rustics. It is her great credit that each of her character is convincing and appealing. he makes her characters credible through her keen ps#chological insight. Generall# critics as /eslie tephen are of the opinion that George Eliot has dra)n )omen characters )ith much greater s#mpath# than male characters3that her most successful men are substantiall# )omen in disguise. Another critic observes that her male characters are not as convincing as the female characters. E.A. Baker agree )ith /eslie tephen that George Eliot&s male characters are evolved to embod# the 4ualities that a )oman )ould 1ustifiabl# value in the opposite se(. )inburne observes that % the# are flagrant e(amples of a )oman&s man.% "o)ever! all critics do agree that George Eliot&s characterization of )omen is remarkable for the credibilit#! intimate s#mpath#! subtlet#! and certaint# of touch in the anal#sis of their minds. ,e ma# conclude that her characterization is informed b# her remarkable capacit# for imaginative creation and acute anal#tical thinking. he had a true instinct for ps#chological realism )hich makes Geral Bullet call her % the most adult novelist of her times.%
5repared b# 5rof. aleem -aza Govt. College Go1ra.