pISSN: 1598-3293

영어영문학연구, Vol.63 no.1 (2021)

DOI : 10.18853/jjell.2021.63.1.007

Will Ladislaw’s Aeolian Harp in Middlemarch

Han, Kyoung-Min

(Hallym University)

This essay examines how George Eliot draws on the symbol of the aeolian harp in her novel, Middlemarch, in her endeavor to reconcile subjective and objective viewpoints. Recent critics have attempted to view Eliot’s skepticism toward the logocentric view of knowledge and history as prefiguring poststructuralist or Nietzschean thought. Focusing on Will Ladislaw, who intuitively perceives the aeolian harp in Dorothea’s voice, this essay investigates how Eliot renders through literary language a means of transcending the limitations of subjective perspectives and imaginatively entering other perspectives. Ladislaw’s affinity with Romantic poets established through the symbol of the aeolian harp suggests that he is quite invested in negotiating between idealist and realist positions. While he strives not to lose sight of a realistic understanding of reality, Ladislaw is not without a desire to aspire to come into contact with essential elements of life. Ladislaw therefore makes an arduous effort to penetrate and grasp the dynamic and ever-changing essence of Dorothea’s beautiful soul without turning it into something fixed. Ladislaw’s intuitive appreciation of the complex operations of aesthetic elements in Dorothea’s voice enlarges his capacity for sympathy, which eventually transforms him from a perceiver of beauty into an active participant in politics.
  이올리언 하프, 이상주의, 직관, 정치, 현실주의

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