Starting from an analysis of realism as expressed by George Eliot in Chapter 17 of Adam Bede, this paper intends to investigate the way in which law is enforced in a case of infanticide. In particular, in Eliot’s novel the crime is committed by the beautiful and naive Hetty Sorrel whose tragic destiny is a consequence of her seduction by the aristocratic Arthur Donnithorne. Hence her condition of a fallen woman and, accordingly, the trial culminating in the sentencing to hanging. Significantly, Hetty’s silence before the jury in the court- room is interrupted thanks to the intervention of Dinah Morris, her Methodist cousin who, meeting the prisoner in solidarity and sympathy, will have from her a full confession of the events.

Infanticide in "Adam Bede": Hetty Sorrel and the rough language of justice

Francesca D'Alfonso
2019

Abstract

Starting from an analysis of realism as expressed by George Eliot in Chapter 17 of Adam Bede, this paper intends to investigate the way in which law is enforced in a case of infanticide. In particular, in Eliot’s novel the crime is committed by the beautiful and naive Hetty Sorrel whose tragic destiny is a consequence of her seduction by the aristocratic Arthur Donnithorne. Hence her condition of a fallen woman and, accordingly, the trial culminating in the sentencing to hanging. Significantly, Hetty’s silence before the jury in the court- room is interrupted thanks to the intervention of Dinah Morris, her Methodist cousin who, meeting the prisoner in solidarity and sympathy, will have from her a full confession of the events.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11695/88618
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