To begin with, this book is basically about three couples Rosamund and Lyndgate, Fred and Mary and Dorothea and Ladislaw. However, these three couples live in a Middlemarch town. Additionally, there are two specific choices in life that rules in the Middlemarch narrative. The two are profession and matrimony. Both cases are taken with all the seriousness they deserve. So to speak, the novel brings out clearly the advantages of a marriage which is build on compatibility and those that are build around very short courtships. On the other hand, marriages that women have a right to express their issues seem to work well. In connection to this, the profession of the characters in this novel is of great importance. Actually, this book illustrates the implications of wrong career choices in life. Following this point, the idea of women being housewives is brought out in the novel as not being right since their career ambitions are not realized.
In this novel, Eliot used many characters with diverse characteristics to bring out the message in it. Even though many characters have been used none of them occupies a central place in the play. In addition to this, the characters in the story include Dorothea Brook, Tertius Lydgate, Rev. Edward Casaubon, Mary Garth, Mr. Arthur Brooke, Celia Brook, Sir James Chettam, Rosamond Vincy, Fred Vincy, Will Ladislaw, Mr. Caleb Garth, Mr. Camden Farebrother , Nicholas Bulstrode, Mr. Featherstone, Mr. Hawley, Mr. Mawmsey, Dr. Sprague, Mr. Tyke, John Raffles and Adolf Naumann (Eliot,1950). Nevertheless, these characters have been used to bring out the many themes in this novel.
In the analysis of characters Mr. Bulstrode is a very rich banker and a husband to Harriet Mr. Vincy’s sister. On the other hand, he had married Will Ladislaw's grandmother after the death of her husband. Following this, Bulstrode had to find Ladislaw’s grandmother’s daughter who was lost after the death of her husband. In this context, he had to bribe Raffle who found the daughter so as to keep it a secret forever. However, Raffles died after being sick for a while due to Bulstrode negligence of the doctor’s instructions. It is after this case that all the sinful past of Mr. Bulstrode was revealed and he had to leave Middlemarch. Bulstrod had a very upright, faithful and honest second wife who is as well excellent in evaluation of other people and their activities. In addition to this, Harriet is a very good marriage counselor and she actually gives wise advice to Vincy and Rosamond about marriage. She is also decided to give a cold shoulder to the many mistakes of her husband and no one blames her for anything. Financially, Bulstrode belongs to the merchant and professional class (Chase, 1991). In fact, he runs a hospital together with other institutions and has good deals of making money. Even though Bulstrode is prosperous his religious pretense makes him so detestable in public.
Apart from this, Bulsrode is also a real Methodist and he tries by all means to convince the people in Middlemarch to take his beliefs. Even though Bulstrode is a Christian he is so self centered and he does not care about others. Actually, all he is after is to manipulate others and fulfill his selfish desires. Nonetheless, he also has a disgusting past which he desperately hide so much. To be specific, Bulstrode is a very sad man who had for many years tried to improve his living standards to be better than he has ever been. In fact, the fortunes he has were as a result of stolen goods which he sold to get all his fortune (Rosensfit, Rea & M.A.1996).
The other character is Mr.Farebrother who is in love with Mary Garth. He is also a very smart and intelligent preacher. Nevertheless, Mr. Farebrother considers himself to be a very poor clergyman however much people like his preaching. In reality, he admits that gambling had to part and parcel of his life so as to able to support his aunt, sister and mother. Notably, Mr. Farebrother campaigned for the chaplaincy in a new hospital that was build but he lost the race to Mr. Tyke (Peck, 1992). Nonetheless, after the Causanob’s death Farebrother took over the Lowick parish. Apart from this, he is also a great friend of Lydgate who was one of his fast made friends.
On the other hand, Mr. Tyke is a clergyman and is supported so much by Mr.Bulstroded. As a result, he wins the chaplaincy of the new hospital against Mr. Farebrother. The other character is Fred Vincy who is the eldest son in the family of walter and lucy. He belongs to the professional class whereby the merchants must work so as to satisfy their daily needs. However, his father sends him to school so as to make sure that he polishes his profession in order to ascend to the upper class. In essence, it was Fred’s father desire to educate his sons to make sure that they are intellectual enough to get in to a better class compared to him. Even though Mr. Vincy took his son Fred to college he does not demand for good performance from him. This is because he expected that Fred will inherit a lot of fortune from Featherstone and as result his class will definitely rise.
Unfortunately, the distance that Fred kept from Featherstone made him miss all the fortune. Instead, Fred was forced to work hard in order to maintain his professional class. Additionally, Fred is in love with his early days darling Mary Garth who is not ready to marry him unless he do away with the church issues of which he is not actually interested with. Following this, Fred abandoned his church activities and settle on a better career life so as to win Mary Garth. At the look of things, Mary is the cause of Fred’s sorry of missing his inheritance from Mr. Featherstone. Consequently, Fred is forced to borrow money from Caleb Garth so as to settle some of his debts. It is this humiliating situation that made Fred to revaluate his life and he finally decided to become a land manager under the supervision of Mr. Garth.
Nevertheless, Mr. Vincy is the father to Fred and Rosamond and a husband to Lucy. Apart from this, he is a brother to Harriet who is the wife to Bulstrode. In this novel Mr. Vincy is brought out as a very hardworking man who is very determined to see his children succeed in life. Actually, he looked forward for a future where his children will be in a position to live a standard life of the first class people. In reality, the only mistake he made was not to demand for results from his sons in the University especially Fred who is later humiliated and is forced to work for Caleb. Even so, Mr. Vincy is a mayor in Middlemarch and is the working and professional class which demands him to work so as to earn a living. In other words, Mr. Vincy was in charge of the Middlemarch town.
On the other hand, Mr. Caleb Garth is a father to Mary who is in love with Fred. Along with this, he is also a husband to Susan who was formerly a schoolteacher. Moreover, Garth is a business man and in the laboring class of Middlemarch. In fact, he survives by managing several estates in and out of Middlemarch. More to this point, Fred’s inability to pay Caleb’s debt grieved the family because they could not live well with what they had at hand. It is as a result of this that Fred was forced to work for Garth in order to pay his debt. Besides this, Garth is such a loving, honest, generous and kind man. Basically, it is his kind nature that compelled him to forgive Fred and allow him to be his employee without any harassment. Actually, in his conversation with his wife Susan Mr. Garth he really sided with Fred as the best suitor for their daughter Mary. Even though, Susan is not pleased with the whole idea she had to support her husband when he reminded her of their own meeting and marriage. In this case, Susan had to admit that their children indeed have a great, concerned and loving father.
Similarly, Sir James Chettam is also another character in the novel who is a landlord and he owns a big estate namely Freshitt. He falls in love with Dorothea who instead decided to marry Casaubon and Chettam married her sister. To be specific, Sir James Chettam was willing to help Dorothea in her preparations of humanizing the tenants’ environment so as to win her love. On the other hand, Will Ladislaw is a cousin to Casaubon and is poor due to his grandmother’s action of marrying a poor musician. However, he is also a very dynamic and talented man who has no particular occupation. A long with this, he falls in love with Dorothea but unable to marry her because Dorothea could not do away with the Casaubon’s belongings.
Remarkably, he participated in the reforms that took place in Middlemarch. This is during the time all the dark past of Mr. Bulstrode was being revealed whereby at one point he wanted to bribe him so as to run away from his grandmother. However, he stood his ground and refused to take the cash simply because he knew that Mr. Bulstrode got that money in very corrupt means. Furthermore, Will just loved anything attractive and beautiful but he does not take much pleasure in money.
In addition, Edward Casaubon is in the financially autonomous class and he owns a very big estate in Lowick. Apart from this, he is an intellectual clergyman whose entire life ambition is to write a book on the key to all Mythologies. Even though, Edward wanted to write he could not just do it due to his doubt and timidity on his ability. A long with this, he marries a lady by the name Dorothea whom he had thought to be respectful and obedient. However, the independent character in his wife irritates him and he misunderstands her and thinks that she is always belittling him (Weber,1992). At the unfolding of events, Casaubon’s aunt was disowned at home for running away from home so as to get married to a man that was detested by their family.
Nevertheless, Casaubon offers to assist Will financially to try and compensate for his auntie’s disinheritance. Notably, after Dorothea realized that Casaubon does not have what it takes to continue having him as a husband she began falling in love with Will. Presumably, out of his jealousy Casaubon included in his will that if Dorothea has to marry Will then she must forget about the wealth and property he left for her.
In the same line of thought, Casaubon thinks that it is very right for Victorian women to marry wealth instead of just marrying men (Mroz, 2004). Likewise, he also strongly believes that women are supposed to stay at home all the time to take care of domestic affairs. Apart from this, Casaubon also beliefs that those illiterate women made good wives because they serve their men with respect and will never try to challenge them intellectually. This is the reason why Dorothea is frustrated after getting married to him because the intellectual fulfillment she was searching for could not be found. Actually, she says that her husband could just wake up and go for work alone in their honeymoon leaving her behind with all the loneliness
Notably, Mr.Brook has also played a key role in this novel. To be specific, Mr. Brook is an uncle to Dorothea and Celia and he is not very clever. Nonetheless, he is also known to be a populist and he tries to please all the people with his hypocritical behavior. Ironically, he gets into politics and contest for a parliamentary seat yet his tenants are so poor and their living conditions are pathetic (Eliot, & Maertz ,2004). In this context, Mr. Booke seems to be an ideal man but not realistic at all. This is because there is no way reforms can be brought by those people who are already corrupt and unfair to the few who are under their care. The motivating factor of Mr. Brook campaigns is his basis of being a landlord for quit sometime and his growing fame in town. Even though, Mr. Booke is campaigning for a parliamentary seat which is meant for reforms he still has some old-fashioned thoughts on what he thinks is right for women to do and what they are exactly suppose not to do. From this point, it can be deduced that the activities women participate in the society according to Mr. Brook should be limited.
Likewise, Dr. Tertius Lydgate is another character in the novel who is a very ambitious young doctor by profession. Actually, he desired to be a doctor at a tender age and by the help of his wealthy relatives he was able to achieve his goal in the medical profession. In the same line of thought, the orphaned Lydgate is determined to continue pursuing his career through research work until he finds the most life building block in a human being. While in Middlemarch he marries Rosamond Vincy who lives a very expensive life and he is forced to borrow some money in order to maintain the status of his wife. Nevertheless, Lydgate really values women and see them as very useful vessels in society. Outstandingly, Lydgate tried to live a very ideal life which made him to take loans rather than utilizing the recourses that are within his reach (Buckley, 1975).
On the other hand, Captain Lydgate is Dr. Tertius’ cousin who is very outgoing and careless. Essentially, he once took his cousin’s wife out for a ride and she experienced a miscarriage as a result of an accident they were involved while riding on the back of a horse. In addition to this, there is also another character called Raffles who receives a bribe from Bulstrode so as to hide the first daughter of the latter’s first wife. In fact, he was an assistant of Bulstrode in some weird business which was meant to be very secretive.
Nevertheless, the trust that Bulstrode bestowed on Raffles turned out to be a loop hole to his dark past which really tainted his name and he could no longer stay in Middlemarch. This is because his religious pretense had come to an end. Another character is Mary Garth who is a daughter to Caleb Garth and Lucy. Basically, Mary is a very hard working and intelligent girl who has a taste for literature and the human ecosystem(Eliot, 1999). Among Victorian women Mary comes out clearly as an independent woman who even helps Fred to reevaluate himself and then follow the right career path. Moreover, she is also very realistic with issues, for example she saw that Fred was not serious at all with his church ambitions and he therefore help him to look for an alternative. Even though, Mary gave Fred conditions in order to marry him she still assisted him through that.
In addition to this, Rosamnod Vincy is a real refined lady in Middlemarch whose concentration rotates around social requirements and a good life in deed. More to this point, Rosamond is a second class citizen in Middlemarch but her education elevates her to her higher class. In fact, in the novel she is a representative of the ability to transform the social position especially among women in the society. However, her education makes her so unrealistic to an extend of getting married to Lydgate whom he later realized that she did not love after he became bankrupt. As a result of this, her happiness and marriage is ruined badly by her academic success(Thompson, 2002).
Finally, Celia brooke is a wife to Sir James Chettam and a sister to Dorothea. She is also quiet and a very normal girl. Besides this, she is also reasonable and observant especially in her Middlemarch environment.