Adam Bede and Its Issue of Happy Ending

  • 魏 夫雨

Student thesis: Master's Thesis

Abstract

This thesis discusses why the closure of George Eliot’s Adam Bede is a satisfying one for the eponymous character and Dinah Morris as well as how the happy ending is connected with Eliot’s conception of tragedy Adam Bede concludes with Adam and Dinah’s marriage and their children which seem to be a conventional happy ending of a nineteenth-century novel However not every critic regards the closure a happy ending for Adam and Dinah; nor does every critic consider it consistent with the plot of the novel Focusing on Adam and Dinah the thesis reads the novel as a in Randall Craig’s words “nineteenth-century di lieto fin” and argues that the two characters’ marriage represents a happiness which they have earned by learning to overcome their shortcomings from their sufferings It consists of five chapters starting with an overview in Chapter One of different critical assessments about the ending of the novel Chapter Two illustrates the two factors contributing to an Eliotian version of “a nineteenth-century tragedy di lieto fin” in Adam Bede The first factor is the ebb of tragic dramas and the rise of novels as the alternative medium for tragic themes and subjects in the nineteenth century The second factor is Eliot’s own reading especially that of Aristotle’s Poetics which inspires her to create and apply her ideas of tragedy to her novels including Adam Bede Chapter Three moves on to analyze how Adam as a tragic hero learns through suffering not to be blinded by appearance as well as how his marriage to Dinah serves as a reward for his growth In a similar manner Chapter Four turns to Dinah and elaborates how she as a tragic heroine realizes her lack of self-regard through internal conflict and becomes able to embrace her love for Adam The chapter then explains how her marriage serves as a reward for this development Finally Chapter Five concludes with Eliot’s conception of tragedy which the novelist conveys through Adam and Dinah’s union: that sufferings enable people to undergo regeneration and to gain a happy ending as a reward for growth
Date of Award2019
LanguageEnglish
SupervisorChao-Fang Chen (Supervisor)

Cite this

Adam Bede and Its Issue of Happy Ending
夫雨, 魏. (Author). 2019

Student thesis: Master's Thesis