Date of Award
Eleanor McNees, Ph.D.
Darrin Hicks, Ph.D.
Eliot, Narratology, Psychoanalytics, Sociology, Spencer, Victorian
Through the novel Middlemarch, George Eliot fulfills the intention of her subtitle and uses sociological theories to conduct A Study of Provincial Life. Eliot's letters, journals, and various essays provide evidence of sociologist Herbert Spencer's influence on her own writings. Spencer's specific opinions and contributions not only strengthen the sociological message of Eliot's novel, but a handful of his ideals shape the narrative voice of her novel. Variations of Spencer's theories are seen in Eliot's "authorial narrator's" comments and observations of the Middlemarch couples. With her narrator, Eliot applies Spencer's theories on "belief" and on the correlation of an individual's worldview to his or her society. Furthermore, Eliot creates an emotionally-based connection between her narrator and her readers which allows her to lead her audience through her sociological study and ensures her authorial narrator's voice provides reliable expertise on the provincial life of Middlemarch.
McKinney, Kellie Marie, "Middlemarch: Eliot's Spencerian Sociological Study of Provincial Life" (2015). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 1074.
Received from ProQuest
Kellie Marie McKinney
Literature, Sociology, Social Psychology