Monday, July 11, 2016

#Eliotalong Week 2- Chapters 15-28

I think this week I finally got properly settled into the book and remembered why I love it so much. It's just so engrossing! I'm caught up in the lives of the characters and the fact that I've got more than 600 pages left with them isn't a bit disheartening. I'm starting to remember certain plot points a bit more, so I'll have to bite my tongue a bit for spoilers here... ;)

  • Lydgate- I'm liking Lydgate a lot so far. It's hard not to sympathise with him as an outsider to Middlemarch. Small towns are weird. Anyone else need a diagram for who's related to who? I feel like everyone's related by marriage... Anyway. I'm less sure about Rosamund's schemes for him and how completely oblivious he is to them- she's planning the furniture in their drawing room, he barely even considers her a love interest. This will not end well.

  • Religion- I'm starting to see a thing with zealousness/puritanism versus a more laidback approach in this book. Dorothea's super pious, but it does her no good; Farebrother is probably a terrible clergyman but seems like a nice guy; Tyke is super strictly religious and not a particularly nice guy. It's interesting in regard to GE's experiences with religion- she was brought up pretty strict but relaxed later in life, what with her relationship with a married man and all. So it's interesting to see her explore those ideas here.

  • Dorothea- oh man, I feel bad for her. It's like she's finally woke up and realised what a horrible mistake she's made. Casaubon is such an ass. Meanwhile, Will Ladislaw is going up in my estimation, and I just wish Dorothea could have married him instead.

  • Fred- I'm torn with Fred. I kind of can't stand people who are terrible with money, being an obsessive budgeter myself. And Fred is the worst when it comes to money and it's starting to mess up other people's lives too, which is Not Cool. Still, he's not malicious or anything about it. I think he's just genuinely naive and stupid. Hopefully he learns from his mistakes... but let's face it, he probably won't. Oh, and Mary Garth is an absolute angel.

So that's this week! Next week I'm hoping to see more of Dorothea and see if Fred really can get himself sorted out. 


  1. Really interesting plot developments in these chapters. I am like you regarding Fred. I think he was absolute ass with Garth's money, but like you said, he didn't do it maliciously, just callously without regard to the consequences.

    Yes, funny about everyone being related in some close or distant way. I think we DO need a chart!!

  2. I also immediately liked the sound of Lydgate. I thought the introduction to new ways would be shunned by the older practitioners. I was so curious to see what was going to happen in that regard. Whether he would end up proving that his methods were more effective. Since you have read the book, I will say here that I was disappointed they didn't have a complete breakout of cholera (I think it was cholera) so that we could see him in action. But maybe that would have been beyond his capabilities in those days.

    With Fred, I was also disappointed in him going to the Garths (of all people) for assurity on his debt. But while I did think him a bumbling fool, I still found myself wanting him to somehow succeed (and to never fall in that predicament again!). I can understand why Mary is not interested in him at the moment. He has a lot of growing up to do.

    And poor Dorothea. She really does seem to have landed herself in an unpleasant situation. Will Ladislaw seems to be more the type of man she was interested in. He was educated in many areas, but not cold. Of course, learning that the majority of her husband's work was likely to come to nothing didn't help her either. Not only did she feel sympathy for Casaubon, but it basically meant that everything she would learn from him would be pointless.

    Love hearing your thoughts! Can't wait for your next post!

  3. I like what you have to say about religion in this book. Dorothea's piousness is annoying-the one thing I don't like about her. I loathe Casaubon. And poor, poor Lydgate. I know Dorothea and Lydgate aren't interested in each other-there's no attraction. But they would have suited one another temperamentally. Will is still untested. He doesn't know what he wants to do. That's a huge theme in this book--the idea that we must each find out vocation. Eliot seems to anticipate what Freud said about the two great needs of human beings: the need for love and the need for work.