Eliot and the Reinterpretation of the Ethical

  • K. M. Newton


This chapter calls into question the still widely held view that her novels promote a particular moral agenda and indulge in ‘preaching’ and argues that such views are untenable. Critical scrutiny of Middlemarch in particular strongly suggests there is no commitment to any moral system and that she anticipates Bernard Williams’s moral philosophy with its emphasis on ‘the ethical’ rather than on morality as a set of principles or a system. Also Jacques Derrida’s exploration of the relation between ethics and undecidability is useful in providing insight into the ethical aspect of Eliot’s fiction. The critical emphasis in the chapter is on detailed readings of certain scenes, especially involving choices and dilemmas.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. M. Newton
    • 1
  1. 1.University of DundeeDundeeUK

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