George Eliot 2: Genre and Justice

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This lecture considers how narrative justice, and the genres of comedy and tragedy, relate to each other in Adam Bede and Daniel Deronda. The lecture identifies the disproportionate amount of suffering experienced by the women in Eliot’s fiction in comparison to the men – an issue which has long been a bone of contention for feminist critics. It also discusses Eliot’s belief that someone’s happiness and contentment should always be qualified by the knowledge that, at any given moment, others are experiencing misery.