The Setting Used in the Novel Adam Bede

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      George Eliot uses rich descriptions in Adam Bede to provide a credible setting and to bring out the individual character of the setting and places, where her character live and to which they are bound by family tradition, love, memory, work and affection.

      Finally, George Eliot, uses landscape to define, reinforce and foreshadow the events of the plot and moral situation. Some idea other use of setting and background is provided by the opening scene in Jonathan Surge’s workshop where we meet Adam Bede for the first time. There are countless other such scenes in the novel. We should not just pass them by merely as background material. The warmth of the sun, the scent of the pine wood and elder bushes, the light striking the shavings or wood, all help to create the sense of a calm, ordered existence. Such scenes form a concrete background for the human action that follows. “The atmosphere of sunny, harmonious, energetic rusticity is complicated, but not shattered, by the diversity of personalities and underlying tensions.” (Henry Auster)

      Mrs. Payser is the voice of rural tradition and community, her home, the Hall Farm, provides a background that illustrates her character vividly. The Hall Farm is the center of orderliness, comfort, love, energy, security and peace of mind which, all other characters in the novel recognize except Hetty. Even Captain, Arthur Donnithorne recognizes The Hall Farm as a kind of focal landmark and compliments Mrs. Poyser: “I think yours is the prettiest farm on the estate ... I know this his (Mr. Poyser) farm is in better order than any other within ten miles of us; and as for the kitchen...I don’t believe there’s one in the kingdom to beat it.”

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