English, Department of

 

Authors

Marianne Burton

Date of this Version

2016

Document Type

Article

Citation

The George Eliot Review 47 (2016)

Comments

Published by The George Eliot Fellowship, http://georgeeliot.org/

Abstract

Various commentators have suggested that Daniel Deronda can be read as a text which espouses early existentialist principles, elevating the individual's search for personal truths above society's expectations and conceptions of duty. I am going to suggest that Deronda 's proto-existentialism is of particular interest when viewed as poised between nineteenth- and twentieth-century formulations of existentialism, the godly and the godless, and when Deronda's search is compared with the narratives of the female characters whose freedoms are more curtailed by social mores.

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