Date of this Version
The George Eliot Review 37 (2006) Published by The George Eliot Fellowship, http://georgeeliot.org/
On Saturday 26 November 2005, the ninth Annual Convention of the George Eliot Fellowship of Japan was held at Tokyo Kasei University.
The morning session began with an opening remark by Kazuo Fujikawa (Okayama University), followed by a welcome address by Keiji Yata (Tokyo Kasei University). In the morning, we had three papers presented. The first two papers were introduced and commented upon by Miwa Ohta (Chuo University), and the third by Yoko Nagai (Keio University).
The first paper, "'Janet's Repentance" - The story of an unhappy, married couple -' was presented by Naomi Ohno (Toyo University). She focused on the two main characters, Janet Dempster and her husband Robert Dempster, and analysed the story from the viewpoint of their unhappy married life. Furthermore, she focused on Mr. Tryan, a zealous Evangelical clergyman, concluding that Eliot gives him the important role of connecting people in Milby and of supporting Janet in particular with his human love and sympathy.
The second paper was 'The Process of Counselling in "Janet's Repentance'" by Horuho Murayama (Saniku Gakuin College). He analysed Eliot's psychological realism in his presentation: Janet has come to believe in 'the message of mercy' to be recovered from suffering since she expects 'some message of comfort' from Rev. Tryan who knows the 'secrets of sorrow', and she goes through 'the initiation of suffering'. Murayama concluded that Eliot's ideas on goodness and sympathy were finely crystallized in this process of Rev. Tryan's counselling.
The third paper, 'Adam Bede - Betty's Nature and Sorrow', was presented by Hideo Takano (Komazawa Junior College). He discussed the substantial relationship between human beings and their society from a universal perspective in Adam Bede. Betty's self-destructive daily life was analysed in terms of human nature, 'a luxurious and vain nature', and her sorrow was cut out in the image of Medusa in Greek Myth. He came to the conclusion that Eliot's concept of human nature - that 'human nature is lovable' - may be related to that of Buddhist and Oriental culture found in 'Jihi', the Japanese terms for Mercy.