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A Return to the Primal Self

Identity in the Fiction of George Eliot


Alan D. Perlis and The University of Alabama

A Return to the Primal Self addresses the neglected theme of wholeness of self in George Eliot's fiction. Arguing that the preponderance of Eliot criticism has focused on how Eliot's characters achieve a social identity, Alan Perlis emphasizes how these characters seek to realize an integrated sense of the elements of their own being. Drawing on sources as diverse as Plato and Wordsworth, the author demonstrates that Eliot's most sympathetic characters return to primal scenes from their own childhood and manage to align them with the adult self, thus attaining a new maturity of vision.
Contents: Character development in George Eliot's fiction - Critical analysis of the novels.