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3. Realism and the Portrayal of Ordinary Life
About this Lecture
In this module, we focus on the novel's portrayal of ordinary life ('the pride and obstinacy of millers and other insignificant people… have their tragedy too'), thinking in particular about the nature of truth ('complex, fragmentary, doubt-provoking') and the achievability of human progress.
In this course, Dr John Rignall (University of Warwick) explores George Eliot's 1860 novel, The Mill on the Floss. The course begins by thinking about George Eliot herself and the place of the novel in her career. In the second module, we turn to the character of Maggie Tulliver and the role of women in the novel, before thinking in the third module about the portrayal of ordinary life in the novel ('the pride and obstinacy of millers and other insignificant people… have their tragedy too'). In the fourth module, we think about the use of language in the novel, focusing in particular on the difference in register between the narrator and his characters, as well as the use of figurative language in the novel, before turning in the fifth module to consider the ending of the novel – and ending which has been considered problematic by some.
After studying Modern Languages (French and German) at Cambridge and Comparative Literature at Sussex, he taught for two years at the University of Bonn, Germany, before joining the Department of English and Comparative Literary Studies at Warwick, where he is now an Emeritus Reader.
Cite this Lecture
Rignall, J. (2018, August 15). Eliot: The Mill on the Floss - Realism and the Portrayal of Ordinary Life [Video]. MASSOLIT. https://www.massolit.io/courses/eliot-the-mill-on-the-floss/realism-and-the-portrayal-of-ordinary-life
Rignall, John. "Eliot: The Mill on the Floss – Realism and the Portrayal of Ordinary Life." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018, https://www.massolit.io/courses/eliot-the-mill-on-the-floss/realism-and-the-portrayal-of-ordinary-life