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Adam Bede

Adam Bede

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George Eliot admirably achieves this aim in "Adam Bede", her first novel, as she subtly but realistically weaves together the lives of four inhabitants in the close-knit community of Hayslope. She creates a simple pastoral, which tells of the seduction of the beautiful Hetty Sorrel -a vain, self-seeking country girl - and the shattered hopes and illusions of Adam Bede, her unacknowledged lover. The tone is one of such bitter-sweet melancholy that their tragedy will deeply touch the reader, and even lead us to sympathize with the candid but over-proud Captain Donnithorne, Hetty's seducer, and to feel the severity of his self-inflicted punishment.
Yet there is a powerful shining light in the novel, embodied in the form of the Methodist preacher Dinah Morris. Her loving affection and devout sense of what is right breathes a peaceful warmth into all lives involved in "Adam Bede".