Characters Discussed (Cyclopedia of Literary Characters, Revised Third Edition)
Adam Bede, an intelligent young carpenter respected by everyone in the village of Hayslope. He is honored when Arthur Donnithorne, the young heir to Donnithorne Chase, has him put in charge of managing the woods on the estate. Three weeks later, however, he sees Arthur kissing Hetty Sorrel, the young woman Adam loves. Knowing that Arthur will never marry Hetty, Adam becomes angry and fights with Arthur. Arthur leaves to join his regiment, and Hetty, deserted and pregnant, promises to marry Adam. When Hetty runs off, Adam is in despair. He stands by Hetty through her trial for the murder of her child. A man who has judged others—his drunken father, Arthur, and Hetty—harshly, Adam learns tolerance and forgiveness. Later he falls in love with Dinah Morris and marries her.
Dinah Morris, a young Methodist preacher, niece of Mrs. Poyser, a farmer’s wife in Hayslope. A compassionate young woman, she aids those who are ill or in trouble. When not needed by friends or her family in Hayslope, she preaches at Snowfield, a grimy industrial town twenty miles away. Seth Bede, Adam’s younger brother, proposes to her several times, but she says that her religious dedication takes precedence over any private emotion. She sympathizes with Hetty Sorrel and gets Hetty to confess that she had abandoned her illegitimate baby. Dinah later falls in love with Adam Bede and recognizes the claim of private...
(The entire section is 1177 words.)
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