A critical study of 'Daniel Deronda' : its relation to George Eliot's fiction and to its time
This thesis is a critical examination of Daniel Deronda, together with an attempt to relate it to George Eliot's fiction, to its fictional time, and to some selected fiction of its time. The Introduction defines the scope of this study, and Chapter I traces briefly, through correspondence, the writing of Daniel Deronda, passing on to consider certain selected criticisms of it since its publication in 1876. Chapter II is an investigation of the widespread nature of its unity, and demonstrates that it possesses a principle of manifold association. Chapters III and IV trace comparisons in usage, plot, situation, character and ethical direction, between George Eliot's fiction and Daniel Doronda, indicating development or mutation in the author's creative art where appropriate. Chapter V displays the retrospective technique which has so large a part in Daniel Deronda, and considers in detail the two basic methods of presenting character in that novel. Chapter VI examines the direct and indirect inodes of commentary in Daniel Deronda, indicating at the same time the extent of the author's moral preoccupation. Chapter VII further underlines this preoccupation by placing Daniel Deronda against its period (1864-6) and examining its Judaism and the nature of George Eliot's humanism for man and community. Chapter VIII takes the qualities of some selected fiction of the 1870's,which appears to have some bases for comparison with Daniel Deronda , and seeks to establish the latter's superiority to these novels. In the Conclusion a revaluation of Daniel Deronda is attempted, and the qualities which make it a great novel are indicated.