Adam Bede Author:George Eliot Introduction by Neil H. Fisher — George Eliot's gift for portraying the outer world is matched by her ability to reveal the inner world of her characters. She presents simple country people--in their homes, at work, and on holiday occasions. Some are idealistic; others, realistic; a few caricatures. Pretty Hetty, shallow and selfish, is paired wi... more »th the charming Dinah, pure and selfless. Although Arthur and Adam both possess a conscience, the former yields to temptation. He worries, his is conscious of his wrongdoing, but he yields. Adam Bede follows the dictates of his conscience; he is just but unyielding. Dinah and Adam are both idealized. But Adam, at least, learns to bend and in doing so becomes more human.
Adam Bede, George Eliot's first major work, is both significant and interesting because of its social background. The workshop of Jonathan Burge, the school of Bartle Massey, and the farm of Martin Poyser; the homes of Adam Bede, Reverend Irwine, and the Poyser family; the preaching on the Green, the birthday feast, the Harvest Supper--all bring early nineteenth-century midland England to life.