Middlemarch Essay - Suggested Essay Topics

George Eliot

Suggested Essay Topics

Prelude and Book One: Miss Brooke
Prelude and Chapters 1-6
1. Dorothea and Celia, although sisters, have exceedingly different views of life. Use the text to support this statement.

2. How may Dorothea's decision to marry Casaubon be seen as a political statement concerning the Reform Bill and religion?

Chapters 7-12
1. Both Mary and Rosamond are Featherstone's nieces. Compare their attitudes toward their rich, dying uncle with their attitudes toward the men they love-in Mary's case, Fred, and in Rosamond's, Lydgate.

2. Only Chettam strenuously objects to Dorothea's impending marriage. Brooke, Celia, and Mrs. Cadwallader all feel this is not the match for her. Explain their reasons for not fighting against the marriage.

Book Two: Old and Young
Chapters 13-18
1. Bulstrode thinks it may strengthen Fred's character not to give him the letter Featherstone demanded. Do you agree or disagree with Bulstrode's reasoning? Why?

2. A vicar is a clergyman. Gambling, cards, and billiards are not usually approved by the church. How is it possible for Farebrother, a vicar, to openly gamble at cards and billiards?

Chapters 19-22
1. Reform is one of the problems Lydgate is having trouble with since his move to Middlemarch. Explain this statement in view of both his medical practices and his new place in Middlemarch's society.

2. Dorothea has planned her marriage without taking her husband's personality into account. In what ways has he turned out to be different from the husband she thought he would be?

Book Three: Waiting for Death
Chapters 23-28
inability to repay the loan threaten the structure of Caleb's family?

2. Lydgate is successful in his treatment of his patients. Why, then, do the other doctors dislike him so?

Chapters 29-33
1. Mary and Dorothea are two women from very different families, yet both are extremely ethical. Compare and contrast the possible sources of ethics for each of the women.

2. Casaubon appears to be very much adverse to his second cousin,...

(The entire section is 894 words.)