Vast and crowded, rich in irony and suspense, Middlemarch is richer still in character, with two of the era's most enduring characters, Dorothea Brooke, trapped in a loveless marriage, and Lydgate, an ambitious young doctor. (From feedbooks.com)
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Did you know that you can look up any word in the book or in the questions and answer choices? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Use this feature to look up the word "rapturous."
This was written before the Women's Liberation Movement. The fact that Mary Anne Evans used a pen name, George Eliot, in order to be taken seriously as a writer, shows that there may be feminist ideologies in this text. Watch this short bio to learn more about the author before you read. (This annotation contains a video)
What is the most distinguishable trait we have learned about Dorothea Brooke thus far?
This story takes place in 19th century England, and much of the story is about the lives of women and their place in society. Watch this video to get an idea of what life was like for women during the Victorian era. (This annotation contains a video)
In the beginning of a novel, authors often introduce the reader to the setting and the characters. As you read, notice who you meet and where they are.
Based on what you have read so far, explain how Dorothea deviates from a classic female character. Use evidence from the text to support your assertion.
How does Celia differ from Dorothea?
At this caliber of literature, dialogue tags will not always been included after dialogue. When the quotation marks are missing from the end of a paragraph, it means the same speaker is continuing into the next paragraph.
Throughout this text you will be asked to cite textual evidence. Watch this video to learn about this reading skill. (This annotation contains a video)
Which line from the text best shows that Dorothea and Celia have a strong relationship?
Good readers figure out characters by noticing what they say, think, do and how others react to them. Watch this video to learn more about character analysis. (This annotation contains a video)
What does "he delivered himself with precision" reveal about Mr. Casaubon's feelings?
What does this dialogue reveal about Dorothea's abilities?
This reaction to Dorothea's suggestion reveals that Mr. Brooke has a gender bias toward women. Notice other aspects of this bias as you read, and notice how it affects the girls.
Based on his behavior and the things he says, why does Sir James visit the Brooke estate?
Sir James' "tender tone" shows that he is flirting with Dorothea. Notice how she responds.
Based on this description, how is Mr. Casaubon different from Mr. Brooke?
This narration reveals that Dorothea is less interested in Sir James and more interested in Mr. Casaubon. She is enamored with his intellect and candor.
What does this beautiful sentence reveal about Dorothea?
Since this story takes place in the 19th century, the characters wear different clothing than what is fashionable today. This is a picture of a bonnet and shawl. (This annotation contains an image)
The phrase "hastened the pleasure" is an example of historical dialect. In this text, you will notice 18th century vernacular that is no longer used today. Find examples as you read and figure out what they mean.
In two or three sentences, summarize what is going on between Dorothea, Celia and Sir James.
In this sentence, Eliot uses sophisticated language to say that Dorothea is happy.
According to the text, Celia plans to marry
Since Eliot paints such dynamic characters and plot points in this novel, central ideas are beginning to emerge. Watch this video to learn how to figure them out. (This annotation contains a video)
Which central idea is beginning to emerge in the story?
How is the proposal in the clip similar to Dorothea's sentiments about Sir James? Use evidence from the clip and the text to support your assertion.
"Pride and Prejudice" is a famous 19th century novel written by Jane Austen. The novel's heroine, Elizabeth Bennett, and Dorothea have a similar personality. Watch this clip from the movie adaptation then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
This is a portrait of an 18th century gentile man. Is this how you picture Mr. Casaubon? If not, how do you picture him? (This annotation contains an image)
According to the context, "mope" most likely means
Marriage is a topic Eliot explores through her characters. Visit this website to watch a video about the history of marriage then consider why Dorothea feels this way. (This annotation contains a link)
Despite his gender bias, Mr. Brooke is attempting to be a _________ to Dorothea and Celia.
What does this narration reveal about Dorothea's desires?
Do you think Dorothea will say yes to Casaubon's proposal?
Use the define feature to learn what "fervently" means.
According to the text, Dorothea has _________ Casaubon's marriage offer.
Dodo is Celia's nickname for Dorothea. Keep this in mind as you read in order to keep track of the characters.
Which word best describes how Dorothea felt about Celia's disapproval?
What does this description of the woman reveal about her social status?
In the 19th century, people transported themselves in carriages or on horseback. This is what a carriage looked like back then. (This annotation contains an image)
How do people in society view Mr. Brooke?
This statement about women furthers the idea that Mr. Brooke has a gender bias which was common in 19th century England. Read this article about gender roles to better understand the social context that the characters live in. (This annotation contains a link)
Considering the context and what you know about Dorothea, "high-flown" most likely means
These remarks Celia makes about her sister reveal that she is not fully comfortable with her sister's personality.
This statement shows that he believes Casaubon is too old to marry Dorothea. Could he be bitter because she refused his marriage proposal?
This statement reveals that other characters feel __________ with Dorothea's personality.
In two or three sentences, explain how Mrs. Cadwallader feels about Dorothea. Use evidence from this paragraph to support your assertion.
A baronet is a member of the lowest hereditary titled British order. Although Celia has a low-rank, she is still considered to be from a respectable, well-established family. Peruse this website to learn more about British social structures. (This annotation contains a link)
These lines show that Casaubon sees his engagement to Dorothea as
What does this interaction reveal about Casaubon? Is he really the man Dorothea sees in him? Read to find out.
Different genres have different structures. Watch this video to learn about organizing a text then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
Based on the way the events have unfolded so far, how has Eliot structured this text?
What do these short one and three sentence phrases reveal about Mr. Cadwallader's feelings?
What does this sabtoage reveal about Sir James?
What is Sir James' motivation for speaking with Mr. Cadwallader?
Why is Sir James mocking Casaubon?
Eliot most likely includes the description of the manor because
The lavishness of Casaubon's house shows that he is wealthy and successful. This status makes a good match for a husband. (This annotation contains an image)
This pious behavior performed by Dorothea shows that Eliot had a strong grasp on the politics of piety and how women had to act around their significant others during this time period.
This interaction with Casaubon shows that Dorothea longs for
Explain how Casaubon's demeanor toward Dorothea has changed. Use evidence from the text to support your assertion.
In this time period, it was common for family members to live with wealthier relatives on lavish estates.
Casaubon ensures that he will provide Will
Which sensation does this metaphor bring to the story?
Since Casaubon sent Will on this trip, what does this action reveal about Casaubon's character?
This page is majority narration. Explain why Eliot inserts these ideas about Dorothea and her interests.
It is clear that Dorothea is excited about her marriage to Casaubon because he educates her and includes her in his work.
This terms refers to the people who live in Middlemarch.
Why did Eliot choose to refer to Mr. Chichley's skin as an "Easter egg"?
Use the define feature to learn what a "dowager" is.
This description of Mr. Lydgate shows that he is a _________ character.
Why do you think Eliot includes quotes at the beginning of the chapters? Could there be a connection between the quote and the contents of the chapter?
What type of woman does Mr. Lydgate prefer?
Considering the context, what does the phrase "kept a good house" mean?
Good readers notice moments in a story that are striking, peculiar or strange in that they deviate from the flow of the story. Notice these moments as you read.
Did you notice that Eliot has introduced an influx of new characters in a short period of time?
Which word best describes the nature of Rosamond and Fred's interaction at breakfast?
What is most likely to happen to Mr. Featherstone?
Rosamond devalues Fred. Why do you think she is so rude to him?
Why does Eliot take time to describe the setting?
Remember, during this time people got around by riding horses. (This annotation contains an image)
Whist is a classic English trick-taking card game which was widely played in the 18th and 19th centuries. (This annotation contains an image)
This dialogue shows that Fred is a(n) ________ character.
Mary is Mr. Featherstone's niece through his first marriage. Keep track of the characters as you read to ensure you know who is who.
What do these actions and facial expressions from Mr. Featherstone reveal about his feelings toward Fred?
Fred and other characters in this novel represent literary archetypes that can be found in other works of literature. Watch this video to learn about archetypes then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
In three or four sentences explain which archetype you think Fred is. Name one character from another book who is the same archetype.
Considering the context, "an offer" most likely means
Despite Rosamond's constant rudeness towards her brother, she seems to be looking out for him. What is her motivation?
Why would Mary refuse Fred's hand in marriage?
Using the word "quarrel" to describe an argument is another example of historical context. This was a common term people used back then.
Many of the characters in this novel keep "high-bred" company. Watch this clip to learn what distinguished nobility in society from commoners. (This annotation contains a video)
What is Featherstone's "stupid demand"?
How is the syntax and language in this paragraph different from the style Eliot usually uses?
This is a beautifully written sentence because it puts the reader right in the scene.
Skim this article about health and medicine in 19th century England then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a link)
Mr. Bulstrode most likely wants Lydgate to get involved in the hospital because
Why do you think Eliot inserts gossip and social tension into this story?
Eliot makes a point of revealing intricate details about each character's personality whether they are leads or supporting. This allows for rich character development. Watch this video to learn more about how authors develop characters in fiction. (This annotation contains a video)
Prudence and judgement are virtues that were held in high regard in the 19th century.
What do the statements that are made in this paragraph reveal about Mr. Vincy?
What feeling does this line show?
Fred continues to show us that he is a weak character. Characters of this nature often encounter great conflict. Read on to find out what happens.
What does "a pretty strong string" refer to?
Why does Eliot include these underscores here?
What does this dialogue with Mary reveal about Fred?
A clergyman is typically a Christian male priest, minister, or religious leader. This profession was considered noble in this time period. (This annotation contains an image)
Eliot uses old English names for her characters. This takes the reader into their world.
Which word sums up Fred's behavior in this sentence he utters to Mary?
According to the text, what did we learn about Mr. Lydgate?
Does this mean he is 27 years old?
The phrase "bread-winning work" most likely means
This anecdote about Lydgate, including his travels, shows another aspect of privilege.
Why do you think Eliot incorporates this information into the story?
Marie François Xavier Bichat was a French anatomist and physiologist who is known as the father of modern histology and descriptive anatomy. (This annotation contains an image)
In two or three sentences explain what brings a sense of suspense to this anecdote. Use evidence from the text to support your assertion.
This sentence has beautiful imagery which is a testament to Eliot's writing skill and style.
Use the define feature to learn what "galvanism" means.
Which word or phrase is an example of historical context?
By putting these words in quotation marks, Eliot is using a _______ style to show the reader that these claims about the doctors are false.
Eliot focuses a great deal on medicine and medical practices in this narrative. This makes a great opportunity for infusing non-fiction information into her writing.
Paris was known as a place to see great art and modernism in the 19th century. Watch the first few minutes of this documentary to understand why Lydgate visits this progressive city. (This annotation contains a video)
By referring to Rosamond as a "creature," Eliot is showing the reader that
Based on the annotation above, why does Eliot compare Mrs. Vincy to Niobe?
Niobe is a Greek mythological figure and the daughter of Tantalus. (This annotation contains an image)
What new information did you learn about Lydgate from these lines?
Much attention was paid to typhoid fever in the 19th century because it caused many deaths and was virtually incurable. Watch this video to learn more about this deadly disease. (This annotation contains a video)
Which central idea is revealed through the exploration of Lydgate's feelings toward Rosamond?
As the characters develop, themes emerge in the narrative. What themes are you noticing?
According to this sentence, which word best describes Mr. Farebrother?
Remember, you can use the define feature to look up words you are unfamiliar with. This will aid in your comprehension and will help you expand your vocabulary.
Given the context "allowance" most likely mean
Which description in this paragraph shows that Mrs. Farebrother is a gentry woman?
A German bath? This text shows a variety of activities people enjoyed in 19th century England. Take note of them as you read. (This annotation contains an image)
Mr. Farebrother is suggesting that he and Lydgate
Voltaire was a French Enlightenment writer, historian, and philosopher famous for his wit, his attacks on the established Catholic Church, and his advocacy of freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and separation of church and state. (This annotation contains an image)
What new information have you learned about Mr. Farebrother from this interaction with Lydgate?
Why do you think the women of Middlemarch considered the billardroom a "chief temptation"?
This description of Lydgate paints him in a positive light. Consider how he is different from the other men of Middlemarch. Where does Lydgate place value as compared to his male counterparts?
Notice how Dorothea and Casaubon have not been present in the past few chapters. Eliot excludes them from these chapters to create structure in the narrative.
Why does Eliot include physical descriptions of these characters?
Good readers notice the company characters keep and the way characters interact with one another. The fact that these men keep company with doctors and lawyers shows they are
Why do you think this defamation of Farebrother's character is important in the narrative? What are we to gain by learning this information?
Which element has been suspended from the story in order to slow down and pace the narrative?
Eliot has slowed down the narrative by employing a literary technique called pacing. Watch this video to learn how pacing is used in literature then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
In two or three sentences, explain how Eliot has deviated from the structure of the broader narrative by including this story.
Use the define feature to learn what "antithesis" means.
Based on this commentary of women, what can we infer about Eliot's view of women in English society during this era?
The characters speak of money, rank and social matters with ease. However, when it comes to the discussion of women, tension arises. Why does Eliot insert drama into this subject matter?
Based on these descriptions, we can plausibly infer that Dorothea is __________ by what she experiences in Rome.
As you read, consider why Eliot titles this chapter "New Chapter."
Dorothea is now in conflict. She is struggling with her marriage since it is not what she expected it to be. Notice how she responds to this problem in the coming chapters.
Which central idea is being explored through Dorothea's discontentment with her marriage to Casaubon?
Dorothea continues to face conflict in her marriage to Casaubon. Watch this video to learn about the types of conflict that are present in literature then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
Based on these lines and what you have learned from the video in the annotation, which type of conflict is Dorothea presently facing?
Based on the phrase "inward colloquy," we can tell that Casaubon is
Eliot uses the word "repressing" to show that even though Dorothea is more free-spirited than many women in her circle, she still struggles to express herself and live freely in her marriage.
This is an intense moment. Why is Dorothea crying?
Explain how this narration about Dorothea's crying shows dramatic irony.
As a skilled writer, Eliot inserts many instances of irony into the story. Watch this video about dramatic irony then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
Are Dorothea and Will flirting?
Based on this sentence, which word best describes an aspect of Will's personality?
Why has Eliot inserted Will into this narrative at this time?
By inserting this sentence at this point in the narrative, and setting it on its own line, Eliot has brought a strong sense of drama to the story.
Based on this narration, Will appears to be more ________ than is male counterparts.
It is interesting to know that Casaubon does not take issue with Dorothea as much as she takes issue with him. What does this say about his personality as compared to hers?
Mr. Naumann's speech brings a sense of silver-lining and humor to this drama. This was a clever writer's move.
Casaubon believes himself to be
Interesting. Does Will have feelings for Dorothea, or is he just being a gentleman by defending her honor?
By uttering this sentence, which conflict has Naumann inserted into this scene?
Based on what you have observed about the character's speech, we can logically infer that people of the 19th century often spoke in
Does this action of Dorothea's foreshadow a future event?
Will feels loyalty to Casaubon because Casaubon has given him
Dorothea's openness with Will is dramatic and sensual. Notice how you feel as you read their dialogue.
Which word best describes Casaubon's feelings about Will's decision to return to England?
This exchange of affection feels awkward since these characters are not content with their marriage. Why are they "going through the motions"?
How is Fred different from the other characters in this story?
This narration is meant to inform the reader about how and why these families are intrinsically connected. This is the part of text that "glues" the story together.
Fred's money matters continue to crop up and often dislodge him from the pleasantry of the other characters. Do you think something bad is going to happen to Fred?
Which line from the text shows that Fred partakes in his reckless behavior with naivety?
Peruse this short article about horse-dealing to gain historical context. This will aid in your comprehension. (This annotation contains a link)
Considering what has happened to Fred so far in the text, do you think he will have luck selling his horse? Why or why not?
Eliot most likely includes this sonnet at the head of this chapter because it encapsulates a central idea that is present in the coming pages. Read to find out if this inference is accurate.
What have you learned about the horse?
Does "engaging" mean Fred and Mary are engaged to be married? There are multiple love affairs going on simultaneously in the text. Make sure you keep track of them as you read.
This paragraph depicts Mrs. Garth as a
In two or three sentences, explain what this line reveals about women during this time period. Consider the historical context when making your assertion.
This is a disturbing image.
Why does Mrs. Garth have the ability to make Fred feel "like the tooth of remorse"?
Here, we see a change in Fred. This is the first time he has expressed remorse for his behavior. Notice if he makes a change as a result of this exchange with the Garths.
The narrator rarely uses the pronoun "I." Who is speaking?
Why does Fred want to surprise Mary?
How does this behavior show that Fred is changing?
Why did Eliot insert this action into the narrative at this moment?
Mary uses a candle because in the 19th century people did not have electricity in their homes. Goods readers notice aspects of the setting and their historical significance.
Is Fred a static or dynamic character? Use evidence from the text to support your assertion.
Authors include both static and dynamic characters in their stories in order to create nuance and color, just like a painting. Watch this video to learn about these character types then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
Why is Mrs. Vincy concerned?
The Mayor's presence shows that this situation is serious and dramatic.
It is clear that Mrs. Vincy believes Fred may die. This drama brings suspense and intrigue to the narrative. What do you think will happen to Fred?
Although he is not outwardly optimistic about Fred's condition, Lydgate is trying to _________ Mrs. Vincy.
Given the context, the phrase "rapid forecast" most likely means
Why do you think Eliot compares Fred to other men of Middlemarch? What is the reader to gain by this comparison?
The Elizabethan era (1558–1603) was the time when Queen Elizabeth reigned Great Britain. (This annotation contains a link)
What does this action reveal about Rosamond's feelings toward Lydgate?
What do you think 1st Gent and 2nd Gent means? Eliot always finds a clever way to start her chapters which is a testament to her writing skills.
What does this line reveal about Dorothea's development?
By saying "Rome has agreed with you," we can tell that Mr. Brooke thinks Dorothea looks beautiful and happy.
Why do you think Celia is inquiring about a wedding journey to Rome?
Much of this story focuses on the intricacies and dynamics of character relationships. Explain how Eliot views a male's perspective on his marriage as opposed to a woman's perspective. Use Casaubon and Dorothea as an anchor for your argument.
The word "qualifications" makes it sound like women have to fill out a job application to get married. This is a testament to the era these characters are living in.
Given the context, what does "foggy" lead the reader to infer?
Casaubon's response to the letter shows that he dislikes Mr. Ladislaw. Notice other things characters do or say to figure out how they feel about each other. This will deepen your understanding of relationship dynamics and character development.
A drawing-room is a room in a house where visitors are entertained. This term was common in the 19th century. (This annotation contains an image)
What new information have you learned about Casaubon?
This feels insensitive. Do you think Lydgate cares about Casaubon's condition?
Given the context, "begged" most likely means
What does the phrase "only capital was in their brains" reveal about Will?
It is interesting how Eliot inserts Will back into the story when Casaubon has fallen ill.
What is this imagery meant to suggest about Lydgate and Rosamond's interaction?
This sentence shows that Eliot is using Lydgate and Rosamond's interaction to create suspense and intrigue in the story. It makes the reader want to find out what will happen between them.
Can you picture Mrs. Bulstrode's eyes? What do you see?
According to this paragraph, what is Mrs. Bulstrode's attitude toward Lydgate?
What could the dog sense from Lydgate?
Visit this biblical website to read the proverbs the narrator is referring to. Notice how reading source materials improves your understanding. (This annotation contains a link)
What new development has occurred between Lydgate and Rosamond?
Eliot may have inserted this idea about the power of words into the story because she is a writer and thinks about the messages words convey.
Eliot's writing style is unique in that she brings in other genre elements into the story. Watch this video about the genre mystery then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
Based on the events of this page and the video above, how has Eliot made this section of the story feel like a mystery?
Why is Featherstone being intensely nasty to the other characters?
Which central idea do these lines reveal?
In three or four sentences, summarize what has happened in this chapter so far. Focus on major plot events in chronological order.
Ale is a type of beer brewed from malted barley using a warm fermentation with a strain of brewers' yeast. (This annotation contains an image)
Could this sentence be related to Mr. Featherstone's condition?
Based on this description of Mary, which word sums up a part of her personality?
Why is Featherstone attempting to give Mary his money?
Mary's restraint shows that she has strong character. She does not want to take money from a dying man.
Eliot has now taken us to Featherstone's funeral. Notice the descriptive language she uses to create a somber mood.
Featherstone's funeral is considered a "big burying" because
What is Mrs. Cadwallader doing here?
This line is lavish and rich with meaning. Use the define feature to look up unfamiliar words. Then reread the sentence for comprehension and answer the following question.
Casaubon is masking feelings of irritation and rage. Do you think he suspects something is going on between Will and Dorothea?
Which line from the text shows that other characters are beginning to suspect a flirtation between Dorothea and Will?
Remembering what Featherstone wanted Mary to do when he was on his deathbed, how many wills did Featherstone have?
There is much tension between the characters about the reading of Featherstone's will and the fair distribution of funds. A will is a legal declaration by which a person names one or more persons to manage his or her estate and provides for the distribution of his property and money at death. (This annotation contains an image)
People believe Rigg to be Mr. Featherstone's
Considering the fact that Mary did not aid Featherstone in opening his box when he was alive, why might she be throbbing with excitement?
People seem to be questioning whether or not Featherstone was lucid and sane when he wrote his will.
Based on these lines, it is clear that some characters feel
By Featherstone's request, Rigg has acquired Featherstone's name because he is to take over his estate.
The phrase "monkey for a margrave" most likely means
What is Mr. Vincy's stance on Rosamond marrying Lydgate?
It is interesting how men at this time had the power to decided who a woman will marry. This furthers the idea that women were not agents of their own lives.
Considering Mrs. Bulstode's reaction, it is clear that people were concerned with their relatives marrying persons of inferior rank.
What do Mr. Vincy's reactions reveal about his personality?
Courtship refers to the process of wooing a spouse, but it also is about the period of time one takes before marrying a love interest. Read this document about courtship then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a link)
Based on the events around engagement and the document you read about courtship, what can be inferred about marriage in 19th century England?
What does this paragraph reveal about Lydgate that was unknown before?
This notion is beautiful and truly propels this novel into the realm of romance.
Once again, Lydgate and Rosamond's engagement proves to be unconventional. Typically the families of the engaged know each other, or get to know each other, before courtship ensues.
What does this paragraph reveal about Rosamond's family?
Why does Mr. Brooke hire Will to write this article?
Mr. Brooke engages in politics because he is privileged and has the means to do so. These events give the reader a glimpse into the lives of gentry people and how they spend their time.
Which line from the text shows that Will appreciates Dorothea more than Casaubon?
Will's actions show that he is a bold character. He often steps out of line and seem to meddle too much in Dorothea's life. Could this behavior get him in trouble later in the text?
Given the context, "shut up" most likely means
Dorothea is constantly battling Casaubon's stubbornness. Why does she persist in helping him if he is so resistant? What does this action reveal about her character?
It is strange that Dorothea refers to her husband as Mr. Casaubon rather than Casaubon. After all, she and Will both know him intimately.
Explain why you think Will is so keen on staying in close contact with Dorothea. Use evidence from the text to support your inference.
Why does Eliot add into this conversation that Casaubon looked at Dorothea with a "knife-edge"?
Despite Casaubon's resistance, Dorothea is advocating for Will's employment with Mr. Brooke. This action might put her in poorer graces with her husband.
How is the character Elizabeth Bennett is similar to Dorothea Brooke? Use evidence from the text and from the clip to support your assertion.
We continue to learn that Dorothea is a complex character, and her demeanor resembles that of Elizabeth Bennett from the novel "Pride and Prejudice." Watch this movie clip then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
Eliot capitalizes the beginning of this paragraph to show this is a letter and is not to be confused with the narration.
What has finally been revealed about why Casaubon dislikes Will?
Which line from the text shows that Will is not in the good graces of all the members of Middlemarch?
Think about Sir James' actions throughout this novel, and consider whether or not he is a static or dynamic character.
An archdeacon is a senior clergy position in some church denominations. (This annotation contains an image)
This figure of speech constitutes as a(n)
Why are Mr. Brooke and Sir James having this discussion about navigating through the public?
Why is Sir James discouraging Mr. Brooke's ambitions?
Based on these descriptions of romance, how does Eliot view Will's connection to Dorothea?
This feels formal. Why is the narrator addressing Dorothea as Mrs. Casaubon?
This sentence is an example of historical dialect. People rarely use this language in modern times. Notice other examples of historical dialect as you read.
Which central idea is developing as a result of Will's attraction to Dorothea?
Grace is a Christian ritual where a person says a prayer demonstrating gratitude for prosperity, good health and the food that is about to be consumed.
Given the context, "encroachments" most likely means
Eliot most likely uses An' and I'n, for example, to
In this paragraph, Eliot has deviated from standard English to show how Dagley speaks.
Which line from the text shows another example of gender bias?
York is a historic walled city in North Yorkshire, England. (This annotation contains an image)
Given the context, "by-and-by" most likely means
Pay close attention to how characters speak. It can be tricky to decipher, so reread for comprehension.
Why does this conversation make Mary feel uncomfortable?
Which event led to Fred becoming a clergyman?
It is clear that Fred's family finally feels some satisfaction with his choices. It appears that he has finally turned his life around. Do you think he will get in trouble again?
Which central idea is highlighted through Mary's realization?
The language Eliot uses in this paragraph makes this interaction between the characters sound legal.
What message is Eliot sending to the reader in this paragraph? Keep in mind that she uses metaphors.
What new insight do you learn about Rigg from this declaration?
Which word best describes Rigg's actions and demeanor in this paragraph?
What is revealed about Casaubon in this paragraph?
The presence of Will has brought Casaubon's state from suspicious to downright desperate.
Good writers insert what is known as an "ah ha" moment in stories in order to keep the reader engaged, develop characters and build suspense. Watch this video to learn about this reading skill then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
Based on the video in the annotation and what is going on in the text, explain the "Ah ha" moment Casaubon is having. Use evidence from the text to support your inference.
What illness does Casaubon have?
This gesture is dismissive. Why do you think he does not want to face his current situation?
According to her thoughts, how is Dorothea changing?
This behavior is new and raises red flags. Eliot is showing the reader that a conflict is brewing. What do you think will happen next?
Use the define feature to learn what a "roulade" is.
What do these lines reveal about Dorothea?
What can we logically infer about Will based on his thoughts?
These lines confirm that a central idea in this novel is about forbidden love.
How does Lydgate and Celia's marriage compare to Casaubon and Dorothea's?
Two hundred pounds a year was a lot of money back then. Keep the historical context in mind as you read.
What is revealed about Lydgate's attitude toward his work?
Eliot elegantly uses the phrase "melancholy cadence" to show the reader how Dorothea feels as she speaks.
Read this article about health care in the 19th century then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a link)
Based on the article about health care in the 19th century, why do you think people "did not like paying their doctor's bills"?
Eliot includes descriptions of characters' feelings and actions after dialogue to show the intention of what they have said. This is a great way to ensure the reader is making proper inferences about characters.
How does Mrs. Mawmsey feel about Lydgate?
Why do you think Eliot has dedicated much of this chapter to discussing Lydgate? What is her purpose in doing so?
By using the term "mortals," what is Eliot saying about the other members of Middlemarch?
Considering the context, the phrase "rang chimes" most likely means to
Lydgate is causing quite a stir in Middlemarch.
Watch this short video about medical training in the 18th and 19th century then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
Based on the video and the text, why do you think Lydgate is being scrutinized by many members of Middlemarch?
Explain how snatching bodies from graveyards to learn about anatomy connects to the video you watched in the previous annotation.
This reaction by Rosamond about medical practices validates why Lydgate is being scrutinized as a doctor.
"Pocket-borough" is an English political term which refers to an English borough constituency controlled by one person or family who owned the land. (This annotation contains an image)
Which word encapsulates the working relationship Will and Mr. Brooke have created?
In three or four sentences, explain how Eliot has used parallel plot in this novel. Use examples from the text to support your response.
Good readers keep track of story elements and plot structure as they read. Watch this video about parallel plot then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
Opium is a drug which is processed chemically from a plant to produce heroin and other pain killers. This drug is not a cure for illness. (This annotation contains an image)
Which line from the text shows that Lydgate is being scrutinized once again?
What do these lines reveal about Will's current emotional state?
Are we to conclude that Will hopes Casaubon will die so that he can take Casaubon's place as Dorothea's husband?
Eliot is describing the setting of the church. A pew is a compartment containing a number of seats used in churches to seat worshipers. (This annotation contains an image)
What does this line reveal about Will's feelings in the church?
What new information do we learn about Celia?
This is a new development. It appears that Casaubon is in good spirits and in good health.
Based on the fact that Celia had a baby, what can we tell about the structure of the novel?
In addition to using the define feature, you can figure out unfamiliar words by noticing the base word first. For example, the base word in "egoism" is "ego."
What has caused Dorothea to feel such dismay?
Dorothea is clearly upset over her husbands death, but she is also trying to keep it together.
Which line from the text shows that Sir James is keeping Dorothea's best interest in mind?
Conflict ensues once again. Sir James wants Will cast out of the country. Does he know Will's feelings toward Dorothea?
Use the define feature to learn what "codicil" means.
What motivates Mr. Brooke to keep Will in Middlemarch?
Dorothea's intentions are to look through Casaubon's will in order to see what her future holds. Do you think she will be upset by what she finds out?
In two or three sentences, explain what Casaubon's will says about Dorothea marrying Will after his death.
What does this fact about Sir James reveal about his feelings in speaking with Dorothea about these matters?
Do you think it is fair that Casaubon kept Dorothea in the dark about his feelings and his will?
Farebrother is being mentioned because he is a neutral party and can help smooth over this potential scandal.
Lydgate is giving Dorothea
The Whigs were a political party in the parliaments of England, Scotland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom. (This annotation contains an image)
What is Will unaware of that the other characters have knowledge about?
As his efforts have progressed, we can now see that Mr. Brooke is gaining political success. Will has officially become a valuable asset and will likely not leave Middlemarch.
Which line from the text shows that Mr. Brooke has gained political success?
Mr. Brooke's encounter with the crowd is unfortunate. Egging refers to the act of throwing eggs at houses, cars, or people. Egging is a criminal offence in most areas, and is often found at political rallies and events. (This annotation contains an image)
What does this paragraph reveal about Mr. Brooke's political success?
What happened as a result of Mr. Brooke's failed election speech?
This chapter focuses a great deal on Farebrother and his relationship with Mary.
Pay close attention to this conversation between Fred and Farebrother. A new romantic predicament is about to reveal itself.
Even thought Fred is on the right track to restoring his life, he is ________ with the clergy.
By using the word "unmerciful," what is Farebrother revealing about his feelings?
What is Farebrother hinting to Mary?
What position about Fred does Mary maintain in this conversation?
Farebrother has a "restrained emotion" because he loves Mary and wants to marry her although he is unsure about her feelings toward him.
The actions and dialogue in this chapter reveal that these men are business-minded.
Which new point of contention has risen in the narrative?
Why has Mr. Bulstrode's usual paleness become a "deathly hue"?
A master refers to someone who owns property and oversees the functions of a house or estate.
This is an image of a 19th century estate. Based on the descriptions of Stone Court, notice if this is how you pictured it. (This annotation contains an image)
Mr. Raffles is employing _________ as he speaks with the banker about his estate.
What does this conversation reveal about Raffles' character?
A portmanteau a large trunk or suitcase, typically made of stiff leather and opening into two equal parts. (This annotation contains an image)
When you encounter a foreign language in a text, it is best to research the author to understand where the text came from. Even if you do not understand it, you will gain context.
How does Celia feel about Dorothea's current state?
This is a powerful gesture. What is the meaning behind Mrs. Cadwallader's "sarcastic expression"?
How does Eliot view Dorothea's marriage?
Which fact is Ladislaw "ignorant" about?
Why do you think Dorothea feels strange around Will?
Dorothea is offering Will a portrait. (This annotation contains an image)
What does Will feel he is being "divided" from?
What has Dorothea finally admitted to herself?
This proclamation brings such satisfaction to the reader. Notice if you feel any resolved feelings as you read these lines.
Based on this conversation, what has Mrs. Cadawallder "recommended" for Dorothea?
Dorothea's wild spirit seems to be restored. She is resisting the efforts of others to try to get her to marry again.
Eliot is introducing more historical context to the reader. During this era the industrial revolution began. Watch this video to learn about the times in which these characters are living in. (This annotation contains a video)
Based on Dorothea's current actions and mindset, which point of view does Eliot take on the position of women in society?
What does this line reveal about the sentiments Middlemarchers have about railroads?
Caleb is factoring railroad companies into his business plans because these companies often bought land in which they could build new train trails.
Use the define feature to learn what "harangue" means.
The workers at Lowick parish are staging
By using the phrase "visibly softening," Eliot is showing us that Mr. Garth is moved by Fred's feelings toward Mary.
Why is Fred asking Mr. Garth for a job in business rather than the clergy?
Considering the context, "envoy" most likely means
Mrs. Garth's tears show that she is displeased with Fred's pursuit to wed Mary. What does Mrs. Garth want?
How has Fred's professional life changed?
This dialogue shows that Fred has entered into another conflict. His father is displeased with his decision to leave the clergy.
This paragraph serves as an introduction to the chapter although it is unclear since it appears to be part of the main narrative.
Which line from the text shows that Fred is making an effort to be respectful in his pursuit of Mary?
What does the phrase "strong language" reveal about Mrs. Garth's feelings?
Mrs. Garth reacts this way because she knows that Farebrother loves Mary and would be a far better match for her than Fred Vincy.
This paragraph is dedicated to describing Farebrother to illustrate how he is a much more desirable match for Mary than Fred.
What does the phrase "animated discussion" mean?
Based on this paragraph, how does Mary view Fred's demeanor?
This gesture Fred is making toward Mary brings a sense of excitement and romance to their interaction.
What does this sentence reveal about Lydgate's character?
Lydgate is showing affection toward Rosamond by calling her "Rosy." This action validates his feelings for her. Does she feel the same way toward him? Read to find out.
Watch the video on irony below and use it to answer the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
How is this accident an example of irony?
According to this paragraph, which hardship is Lydgate facing?
"Provincial life" refers to living in the countryside which is arguably far less expensive than living in major cities. Listen to this song from the Disney musical "Beauty and the Beast" to get an idea of what this type of living is like. (This annotation contains a video)
Why does Lydagte suspect that the day has "still pains in store"?
By describing Lydgate's negative feelings, Eliot is setting a somber mood in the narrative.
This is shameful for a man to admit because at this time, husbands were to take care of their wives, not put them through financial hardship.
What is Rosamond's idea for relinquishing their debt?
Unfortunately, Lydgate would rather sell Rosamond's jewelry than ask her father for money in order to settle his debts. This is what an amethyst looks like. (This annotation contains an image)
Based on Lydgate's actions, what have we learned about him?
Casaubon's codicil seems to be the "talk of the town" and is sure to create more conflict in the story.
Which central idea has cropped up as a result of Casaubon's codicil?
"Esq" stands for "Esquire" which means that Edwin Larcher is a lawyer.
What is the image that Eliot has painted in your head about the sale? Use descriptive language in your response.
An auctioneer is someone who is hired to facilitate and sell goods at an auction. Watch this video to get an idea of what their job is like. (This annotation contains a video)
Given the context, what are the "articles" that Joseph brought to the auction?
Why is Will attending this auction?
Will's bid shows that he may not be good at purchasing items at an auction.
What does "the daughter was at a discount" mean? Does this phrase have a negative connotation?
In two or three sentences, explain what Raffles has told Will about his mother.
Explain why Bulstrode fears "the loss of high consideration from his wife."
English Dissenters were Christians who separated from the Church of England in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. (This annotation contains an image)
Bulstrode is "shrinking" because he is being blackmailed by Raffles. Make a prediction about the conflict that will surely ensue as a result of Raffle's actions. Read on to find out if you are correct.
What does Bulstrode's part in this scandal reveal about his personality?
What do these lines reveal about Bulstrode's current state of mind?
This plot event shows that Bulstrode might tell Will his secret. How do you think Will will react?
What does the phrase "narrow my own resources" mean?
Will is inquiring about the business because Raffles told him earlier in the story that his family's money came from illegal business interactions. He wants to validate Raffle's claim.
Based on her behavior, it is clear that Dorothea is still suffering emotionally.
Based on the context, what does "blacken" mean?
Based on these lines, we can tell that Will and Dorothea are having a misunderstanding. They are not truthfully communicating with each other, so intentions are being misinterpreted.
By inserting this line, which mood is Eliot creating in this scene?
Which line from the text shows that Dorothea still has warm feelings toward Will?
Eliot is using beautiful descriptive language and imagery to show that Dorothea's love for Will is blooming inside her once again. How did you feel when you read these words?
Eliot inserts these life lessons through the characters in order to teach the reader lessons. Consider what you have you learned from reading this timeless novel.
The phrase "back him up" most likely means
Use the define feature to learn what "arduous" means.
By claiming that all of his children are "good-tempered," what have we learned about Mr. Vincy?
This is a bold statement. What are the intentions behind Lydgate's remarks?
Which central idea has developed has a result of this conversation?
Lysgate's pride is pervasive, and it is clouding his judgment. His decisions are leading to dead ends and Rosamond is upset as a result of her husband's actions.
Based on this dialogue, what does Lydgate hope will keep his marriage to Rosamond in tact?
What is Lydgate's new plan for settling his debts?
This "new violence" is showing another side to Lydgate's character. He is clearly at his wits end. Do you think an external conflict will occur as a result of his current mental state?
What does Rosamond's defiance reveal about her character?
How do you think Lydgate will respond to Rosamond's visit to Trumbull?
In three or four sentences, explain how Rosamond is more practical-minded than Lydgate. Use evidence from the text to support your assertion.
It is plausible to assume that Rosamond may regret marrying Lydgate. The tumultuous nature of marriage seems to be an underlying theme through this novel.
Read this article about the emotional effects of debt then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a link)
Eliot uses the word "paralyzed" to show Lydgate's feelings toward Rosamond because
Why do you think Eliot chose to include this quote at this point in the story?
How does the term "pride is not a virtue" connect to Rosamond and Lydgate's current situation?
What motivates Lydgate to utter these words to Rosamond?
Rosamond puts these claims in quotation marks to show her sarcasm and to discredit his feelings about her activities. Rosamond appears to be growing more brazen as the story unfolds.
In this paragraph, Farebrother to drawing a parallel between gambling and alcohol. Do you see a connection?
Which conclusion is Farebrother drawing about the consumption of drugs and alcohol and gambling?
What has Lydgate done that shows he has hit "rock bottom"?
This is an embarrassing moment for Lydgate, but what is Fred doing gambling? Perhaps he is going back to his old bad habits.
If this is true, why is he there?
Considering the context, "quell" means that Fred will
What does this line represent?
What do you think this metaphor means as it relates to Lydgate's current situation?
Eliot has her characters speak in metaphors because it adds beauty, meaning and sophistication to the text.
How has Eliot structured the progression of character development?
This news is sure to come as a huge blow to Lydgate, especially since of his financial hardship.
Which line from the text shows that Lydgate has finally folded and seeks a loan?
Is Lydgate blaming Rosamond and his marriage to her for his debt? If so, what does this reveal about his character?
What is revealed about Raffles' character since he has the nerve to show up at Bulstrode's door for medical attention?
Remember, during this time people did not have electricity in their homes, so they used candlesticks to see. This is the type of candlestick Bulstrode may have used since it has a bar to grasp. (This annotation contains an image)
Watch the short video below then answer the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
Gender roles play a big part in this novel. After watching the above video, how much do you think that has changed for our society?
To get an idea of the setting, this is what a bank looked like in the 19th century. Picture Bulstrode there. (This annotation contains an image)
Based on this description, it appears that Caleb is not very bright.
Why did "the shock of his words" pass through Bulstrode?
This line means that Caleb is ensuring Bulstrode that he will not repeat Raffles' rumor in order to preserve Bulstrode's reputation.
Explain what has happened as a result of Caleb discovering Bulstrode's secret.
Lydgate has revealed that Raffles is suffering from
Do you think Bulstrode is inquiring about Raffles' state of health because he wants him to die?
What sensation does this behavior incite?
It is likely that Bulstrode feels this sense of relief because Raffles probably has not spread his secret pervasively amongst Middlemarchers.
A central idea about secrecy and power is emerging as a result of Bulstrode "caring for" Raffles.
Lydgate seems to feel ________ about the fact that Bulstrode did not help him out financially.
Based on this sentence, make a prediction about what will happen next.
What devious act does Bulstrode carry out?
Why does Lydgate profess that his "torture-screw is off"?
It appears that people are suspicious of the money exchanged between Lydgate and Bulstrode.
"Green Dragon" is the name of the gambling establishment Lydgate attended when he saw Fred Vincy. This is also a place where men gather to socialize. (This annotation contains an image)
Which line from the text shows that Mr. Bulstrode's reputation is about to be destroyed?
These plots events have changed the feel of the novel from a
Think about why Eliot inserts gossip into this novel. How does this further the story and reader intrigue?
Mrs. Dollop is trying to be objective while determining the gravity of these accusations against Bulstrode.
Which word best encapsulates what is happening to Bulstrode's reputation?
This image shows what a 19th century Town Hall looks like. Picture the characters in this setting as you read the events that are about to unfold. (This annotation contains an image)
Based on Mr. Hawley's actions, what might be Eliot's view on murder?
Remember, Lydgate did not suspect that Bulstrode was responsible for Raffles' death, so keep track of his reaction as you read.
Why is Lydgate arguably the most troubled character in this novel? Use evidence from the text to support your assertion.
Mr. Brooke is most likely taking a vested interest in noticing Lydgate's behavior because Lydgate is married to Celia. This scandal could ruin their family name.
Eliot has embedded a great theory about character into this story. Watch this video, and notice how it compliments Farebrother's assertion about character development. (This annotation contains a video)
Based on the video and Farebrother's assertion, he believes it is possible that Lydgate took this bribe because
Why do you think Lydgate accompanies Bulstrode to his home knowing that continuing this friendship could ruin his reputation?
According to Lydgate, why does he see himself as someone who "can understand the grief of one who falls from that serene activity"?
Since we are "knee deep" in this scandal between Lydgate, Raffles and Bulstrode, make sure you do not forget the other story lines you have read in this novel. They will crop up again later in the text.
In two or three sentences, explain how the image in the annotation above connects to Lydgate's current emotional state.
Study this image then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains an image)
As a good reader nears the end of a book, he or she will notice any last themes that the author presents. Think about the central ideas in this text and connect the dots.
Based on this dialogue, what do you predict will happen to the Bulstrode's marriage?
It is likely that Bulstrode feels afflicted in his mind because he fears that he will be arrested and charged with the murder of Raffles.
Which character trait is Mrs. Bulstrode exhibiting in these lines?
Which word best describes how Mrs. Bulstrode feels as a result of her husband's actions?
It appears that Mrs. Bulstrode plans to stay loyal to her husband. Do you agree or disagree with this choice?
What new information do we learn about Rosamond?
It is interesting that Eliot chose to use the word "quit" to describe Will's departure from Middlemarch. It is almost as if she describing living there as a game to be play or to quit.
As we near the end of the book, Eliot shows readers how the characters have hit rock bottom. However, in true literary form, you can expect to read some resolution in the coming chapters.
In addition to her husband's activities, why is Rosamond shocked?
This actions shows that Lydgate still cares for his wife and wants to make amends.
In this context, the word "jarred" most likely means
Even in this opening line to Lydgate, Dorothea has showed that she has grace and poise, setting herself apart from other residents of Middlemarch.
What new information have we learned about Lydgate and the hospital?
It is clear that Dorothea feels Lydgate is innocent, and she wants to contribute to clearing his name.
Based on this paragraph, what is Dorothea revealing about her personality?
What does the phrase "goodness being wasted" reveal about Lydgate's feelings toward Dorothea's offer?
Why is Lydgate suddenly "energetic"?
Given Rosamond's newfound attraction to Will Ladislaw, what do you believe she has written in this letter?
Based on this paragraph, what does Dorothea believe about Will's feelings toward Rosamond?
Watch the movie clip of this scene then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
How do you think Dorothea will be affected by what she saw between Will and Rosamond?
Which line from the text shows that Will does not have romantic feelings toward Rosamond?
This is an "ah ha" moment for Rosamond. She finally understands that Will truly loves Dorothea and will never love her.
Why does Eliot insert Rosamond's illness into the story?
It was common for men in the 19th century to deem women "hysterical." Read this short article about this "disease" to understand Lydgate's medical position on Rosamond's illness. (This annotation contains a link)
In Christian theology, "perdition" was a state of eternal punishment for sinful deeds. (This annotation contains an image)
Will feels obligated to participate in helping Rosamond get well because
As we near the end of the book, loose ties will be cinched. The characters will resolve their issues one way or the other. Look for these resolutions as you read.
What has Dorothea finally confessed to her herself?
Based on the physical descriptions of the characters Eliot has generously written, you already have a sense of what fashion was like in the 19th century. Watch this video montage to learn more. (This annotation contains a video)
Given the context, "mistress" most likely means
What does this reference to "gentle motherliness" reveal about comparison between Rosamond and Dorothea?
Eliot most likely includes this physical description of Rosamond to show her current mood.
Why has Eliot chosen to bring these two women together? What do they have in common?
Which line from the text shows that Lydgate prioritizes his marriage above all things?
Based on the text, what is motivating Dorothea to look after Rosamond?
What image do you see as you read the phrase "rising with animation in her face"?
Which motif is present throughout this novel that is causing Lydgate to feel the "nightmare of consequences"?
Eliot employees motifs in this novel. Watch this video to learn about motifs then respond to the following question. (This annotation contains a video)
Why is Dorothea focusing her attention on a map?
Maps during this era were often bought in scroll form which explains why Dorothea has to unroll it. (This annotation contains an image)
Given the context, "stem" most likely means
This is perhaps the most exciting moment in the story. Dorothea and Will are finally openly admitting their love for one another.
Explain why you think Eliot saved this scene between Will and Dorothea for the end of the novel. Think about this in terms of structure.
Good readers notice how they feel at important moments in a story. How did you feel when you read this line?
In Celia's mind, Dorothea has always been the "black swan" of the family.
Why is Sir James "white with anger"?
Do you remember when Sir James wanted to marry Dorothea? Could this too be contributing to his sentiments about this marriage?
Why does the rector say, "if she likes to be poor"?
Where will Ladislaw and Dorothea reside once they are married?
Celia clearly does not understand her sister's personality, beliefs or motives. We can tell by the way Celia is discouraging Dorothea's marriage to Will.
What does this conversation between the Bulstrodes reveal about Eliot's thinking?
Mrs. Bulstrode is doing the "cleaning up" for her husband. This action shows that she has strong character and wishes to set things right.
Make a prediction about what Mr. Garth will say to Mary. Read on to find out if your prediction is correct.
What do these lines reveal about Mary's character?
What new information have we learned about Mary's future?
Grasping hands is a symbol of their love. These two may have their happy ending after all. (This annotation contains an image)
These lines are telling us that Fred and Mary had three children. By ending the novel in this manner, Eliot is solidifying that this is a story about romance.
Which central idea is revealed through this information about Fred?