Sunday, December 19, 2010

Maturity and education of Dinah

Introduction: Dinah, too like Adam is immature in the beginning. She is not a fully integrated and mature personality. She also lacks the balance of head and heart. The novel shows how through the love of Adam, she attains this balance and becomes a fully integrated and mature personality. Thus, it is also sent that marriage between Dinah and Adam is not an artistic failure, but promotes the central philosophical and intellectual purposes of the novelist.

Her Lack of social vitality: She is presented as having compassionate, true and selfless devotion to God, but she strikes one as having very little genuine vitality. She is all heart. She retreats from social and family life because it diverts her attention from God. Creeger says, “The cause of her retreat is the fear of selfishness and hardness resulting from too great abundance of world by goods. She is unwilling to become fully involved in life. In this respect, she is like her creator. She observes the human condition, with sympathy and compassion; it is true, but without involvement. Selfless is a world frequently used to describe her but selfless means not only something different from selfish; it means also lacking in self. To lack this sense of human identity is to become something either less or more than human – a god, perhaps, a divinity.”  Creeger further says, “Such a psychological state represents a complete withdrawal from life, and withdrawal is a characteristic of Dinah. Whenever life begins, Dinah retires to Stonyshire. The most notable retreat is when Adam has told her of his love. She says, “I must wait for clearer guidance: I must go from you.” Hetty was incapable of growing up, Dinah is afraid to.
Her Maturity: We are not permitted to see the process of her maturity by which she overcomes her fear and this is a serious flaw in the novel. Adam waits for Dinah to return from her Sunday preaching not at her home, but on a hill top. Here, he discovers that Dinah has undergone a change, the power of love for him has in sense over-come her fears; she feels like a divided person without him. Dinah is domesticated in the end. It is not to be regretted.
Religious views through Dinah: One of the aspects of the life that have significant bearing on the story is the effect of Methodism and church religion on the Hayslope community. Methodism has been described as a movement of reaction against the apathy of the Church of England that prevailed in the early part of the eighteenth century. Its leaders were John Wesley and Charles Wesley. Evangelism denotes the doctrinal counterpart of Methodism.  Seth Bede and Dinah Morris are ardent but sober Methodists. On the whole, the Hayslope people are either indifferent to or mildly interested in Methodism. Among church people, there is a perceptible hostility towards Methodism, which seems to be the result of an apprehension lest Methodism should drive people away from the church and thus affect its stability and revenues. This hostility is best exemplified in Joshua Rann who approaches the priest with a complaint against the activities of the Methodists that they should be barred from preaching in Hayslope. The church also has sober people such as Mr. Irwine who deals all these matters patiently.  The warning against being ‘over-spiritual’ is one that recurs in GEORGE ELIOT’s novels. Fortunately, the best representative of Methodism in Adam Bede is Dinah Morris can hardly be accused of being over-spiritual. 

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Anonymous said...

sorry but to me Dinah is trying to be nothing else but over-spiritual throughout the novel.

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