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Eliot as Psychological Novelist

  • K. M. Newton
Chapter

Abstract

Though it has been claimed that Eliot anticipates the ‘psychological turn’ in the novel as a form, she is still widely viewed as remaining confined within Victorian conventions. Henry James, however, misses the point when he claims that Eliot neglects the opportunity for a properly psychological approach by refusing to restrict her focus to one dominating consciousness. Though still able to explore individual psychology in depth, in her later novels especially the main interest is rather in psychological interactions. She also anticipates one of Freud’s central ideas: the relation between narcissism and the unconscious. In focusing on narcissism, the unconscious and interaction between different minds and consciousnesses, Eliot is in advance not merely of Victorian but of much modern fiction.

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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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