In chapter 28, the narrator says, “There was a billiard-room at the Green Dragon, which some anxious mothers and wives regarded as the chief temptation in Middlemarch.” We see several characters from Middlemarch visit this billiard-room, including Fred Vincy, Mr. Farebrother, and Tertius Lydgate. The men who visit the billiard-room are generally going there to gamble. What purpose does the billiard-room setting serve in the novel? Why does Eliot include it? Why are mothers and wives especially anxious about it?
In a novel as long and complex as Middlemarch, it’s easy to stay focused on the characters like Rosamond, Lydgate, Dorothea, and Casaubon. There are, however, several minor characters who are important to the development of Middlemarch‘s plot, like Mary Garth, Mr. Farebrother, Mr. Featherstone, Mrs. Cadwallader, and Mr. Brooke, among many others. For this discussion board, choose a minor character that you think is interesting and analyze their role in the novel.
Analyze the following extended metaphor: “An eminent philosopher among my friends who can dignify even your ugly furniture by lifting it into the serene light of science, has shown me this pregnant little fact. Your pier-glass or extensive surface of polished steel made to be rubbed by a housemaid will be minutely and multitudinously scratched in all directions; but place now against it a lighted candle as a centre of illumination, and lo, the scratches will seem to arrange themselves in a fine series of concentric circles round that little sun. It is demonstrable that the scratches are going everywhere impartially, and it is only your candle that produces the flattering illusion of a concentric arrangement, its light falling with an exclusive optical selection. These things are a parable. The scratches are events, and the candle is the egoism of any person now absent” (Beginning of chapter 27). What is the narrator suggesting here? How does this help the reader better understand the novel and Eliot’s realism?
Each answer: 300-700
It’s best to bring a quote from the book