Narrative Skepticism: Moral Agency and Representations of Consciousness in Fiction

By Linda S. Raphael | Go to book overview

1
Middlemarch: Skepticism and Narrative Voice

I undertake to exhibit nothing as it should be; I only try to ex-
hibit some things as they have been or are, seen through such a
medium as my own nature gives me. The moral effects of the
stories of course depends on my power of seeing truly and feel-
ing justly.

Letters of George Eliot 2:362

THIS ASSERTION CAN BE TAKEN SEVERAL WAYS: FOR ONE, IT INDIcates that George Eliot does not want to be a moralist; for another, it intimates that her perceptive powers may be limited; further, it implies that her readers’ insights may be similarly limited. To “see truly and feel justly” are noble goals, to be sure, but as Eliot’s characters themselves make manifest, these are lifelong pursuits, which, humility requires, one should always regard as still incomplete or imperfect.

Whereas “seeing truly and feeling justly” were capacities Eliot believed were necessary to the writing of realist fiction, and whereas the matter of what constituted good realist fiction was of profound importance to her, she, unlike Jane Austen, was not very much interested in the novels written by her contemporaries. Distinguishing herself from the Silver-Fork group, Eliot wanted to be considered more than just a novelist. Her disdain for what she thought was false induced her to claim that she was different from voguish writers like Dinah Murlock, for example, because Murlock was not read by people of high culture. Reading literature of the past in several languages, and focusing in her reading of current writers on philosophy, history, science, sociology, and Homeric scholarship, and translating works of Feuerbach and Spinoza, she incorporated many of the ideas from these other disciplines into her novels.1

As a result of the scope of her learning, made abundantly evident

-58-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Narrative Skepticism: Moral Agency and Representations of Consciousness in Fiction
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 238

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.