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An Archetypal Analysis of Maggie’s Elopement

Author ChenYing
Tutor SongShiTong
School Northeast Normal University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords Archetypal Analysis Maggie’s Elopement Humanistic Thoughts
Type Master's thesis
Year 2010
Downloads 83
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George Eliot is one of the most famous female writers in British literary history. Her masterpiece The Mill on the Floss has been commented by both professionalists and common readers since it was published. There are many different perspectives of analysis both abroad and in China. Some scholars analyze the novel from the feminist perspective; some scholars focus on the psychoanalysis; some scholars are from new-historical or archetypal perspective,and some analyze George Eliot’s sense of morality. This paper aims to analyze Maggie’s elopement in George Eliot’s masterpiece The Mill on the Floss in terms of archetype and interpret the content and the significance of George Eliot’s humanistic thoughts.The Introduction gives a brief account of the author and her works, reviews the literature on the research of George Eliot and The Mill on the Floss, and then explains the meaning of the thesis and the approach applied.Chapter One is an analysis of Maggie’s elopement. It mainly concerns the background and the process of Maggie’s elopement, and reasons; consequences of Maggie’s elopement.Chapter Two is an archetypal interpretation of Maggie’s elopement. There is a brief introduction to archetypal criticism, archetype and displacement. The rest of this chapter argues that the plot of Maggie’s elopement in the novel is a displacement of Exodus in the Bible. The children of Israel are the archetype of Maggie; Moses is the archetype of Stephen.Chapter Three involves the humanistic thoughts reflected in the archetypes and their significance.The part of Conclusion concludes that George Eliot used the Biblical archetypes unconsciously and expressed her humanistic thoughts through the displacement in the novel. This made the work is critical of the time, and at the same time, the work also concerns for the individuals in both that time and modern time.

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