In what sense, if any, may Middlemarch be called the tragedy of provincial life?

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coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Middlemarch, the novel by George Eliot, Rosamund would love to increase her social standing and financial situation to a status where she could feel on a par with her betters. She sees Lydgate,perhaps, as a ticket from the perceived low-class situation of her family to a more glamourous one. The tragedy is that Lydgate mistakes her interest for genuine love and sees her femininity as a sign of her trust in him as a man to make all the decisions regarding their welfare. Tragically, many other couples in society are destroying their marriages and families too, through materialsitc ambition and reckless risk-taking. Unreal situations in provincial society eventually break down and there is fall-out - which is what we're all seeing at the moment.

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Middlemarch

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