Date of Award
Master of Arts
George Eliot's world is a deterministic world. She believed that circumstances and conventions imposed by society control events in an individual life; nevertheless, in the inevitable conflicts between inner desire and outer reality, the individual is responsible for his own choices and the acts which they direct. Furthermore, only in a deterministic world are intelligent, moral choices possible. The explanation or this seeming paradox lies in education or the individual by experience to learn to make satisfying choices and to develop a strong will. Through experience, the individual learns both the hazards of the selfish choice and also the lasting values or the unselfish choice; through experience, he develops a strong will as he learns the satisfaction or doing his duty and or carrying out his decision, even though it involves self-sacrifice.
Sale, Elisabeth Even, "Determinism and freedom of choice operating through five experiences in psychological development in the lives of three of George Eliot's heroines" (1973). Master's Theses. 933.