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MiddleLab

The online laboratory for NAI Seniors's study of George Eliot's Middlemarch.

Middlemarch Marathon: The Finish Line

By 2:00 AM


After a long five hours, we have finally reached the finish line!



About Jill:
Jill Galvan is an Associate Professor specializing in Victorian literature at Ohio State University. She is author of The Sympathetic Medium, which analyzes nineteenth-century women's work as the mediums/media of other people's communications (both technological and spiritual/occult). She is currently studying late Victorian theories of realism alongside fictional depictions of troubled marriage.


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54 comments

  1. Throughout Middlemarch, what I enjoyed most was the relationship between Dorothea Brooke and Edward Casaubon. During their first dinner, Dorothea thinks of Casaubon as the ideal husband, someone who she can aid in his work. Casaubon’s marriage proposal never mentions love but instead how in marriage a woman should be “self-sacrificing” Dorothea only accepted this because she is so young and inexperienced and her quest for knowledge was far greater. Dorothea wants to continue learning and ultimately do good for humanity but is tied down by Casaubon. A line early in the novel about marriage, “A woman dictates before marriage in order that she may have an appetite for submission afterwards.” set the tone for the rest of the marriage. I found it ironic because Dorothea didn’t change anything in Casaubon’s house, implying she won't be submissive afterwards. This is shown when they went to their trip, Casaubon wished for Celia to accompany them but Dorothea immediately shut him down and told him she can do things herself. Some questions I still have, What would have occurred if Dorothea submit to Casaubon?, Why was the age difference important to everyone but Dorothea? and Why does Eliot decided to join these two people together? - Adamaris Maldonado P.1

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  2. Throughout the first book “Miss Brooke” of Middlemarch, it called my attention that Dorothea coming from a stable family would pick to marry a man like Casaubon. Sir James in everyone else’s opinion including her uncle, Mr. Brooke, was a better fit for Dorothea. Mr. Brooke didn’t judge Dorothea for her decision even though he knew Casaubon was like twice her age. Dorothea, coming from losing both her parents didn’t not mind if Casaubon was much older than her because I get the sense that she would like to obtain knowledge from him since he is much more experience than her since he has lived longer and she also sees him very interesting. “Dorothea said to herself that Mr. Casaubon was the most interesting man she had ever seen.” I learned from this that a person doesn’t choose one falls in love with, it just happens. This happens without one looking at class, age, or physical appearance. Love just looks that the inside of the person and not necessary what one might have to offer.
    Something that I found very was the type of relationship that Dorothea and Celia have. Dorothea seems to be a kind-hearted person that looks for love and seems to have found it in Casaubon. Celia seems to be very different, even seems the opposite of Dorothea.

    Some questions I have are the following:
    How will the relationship Celia and Dorothea change throughout the book?
    At what point does Dorothea discover her feelings changing regarding Casaubon?
    Why does the author decide to pair Casaubon and Dorothea together?
    What might be the message the author might be trying present in the age gap between these two individuals?
    - Nancy Hernandez, Period: 2

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  3. In the book Middlemarch by George Eliot, I was fascinated by the love Dorothea Brooke had on Edward Casaubon at such a “young age”. Dorothea and her sister Celia were orphans with their uncle Mr.Brooke. Dorothea’s uncle feared that Dorothea would that her powerful energy will make difficult to her marriage prospects. It’s incredible how Casaubon catches Dorothea’s attention at a small dinner party as there is a conversation going.Mr.Brooke mentions how he supposedly spends ‘too much’’ time on his work when Dorothea disagrees with him and points out with confidence that Mr. Brooke spends too much time on entertainment and little on socially responsible projects. Her response immediately caught Casaubon’s attention. They both begin to spend more time into a conversation and it’s lovely the author describes how two characters feel and admire about one another, Casaubon admires her due to that fact that she does not care for the unimportant thing in life and Dorothea admires him due to his “great soul”. At this moment she thought to herself and said in her mind that she wants to become his wife. It is amazing how feelings and love lead to and how fast it happens. I still have a few questions which are : What if Celia was in Dorothea’s position , would Casaubon catch her attention too ?
    -Perla Ruvalcaba ,period 1

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  4. Throughout our MiddleMarch marathon, I learned a lot from Dorothea Brooke. Dorothea is a person who dreams big and wants to make a difference in the world. She wants someone by her side who she can build up more with. Dorothea found Mr. Casaubon and married him because she thought he had more knowledge in him since he was older than her by a lot. However he was totally different from what she thought he was and now is stuck with him. What I learned from her was that just because someone has experienced doesn't necessarily mean they know a lot more than a person who isn't. What I enjoyed was having guest read to us because they gave so much energy when reading it interested me more.
    Questions I have :
    Will Dorothea be able to leave Mr. Casaubon?

    Do you think George Eliot probably married a older man and made that bad choice?



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  5. I found Middlemarch an intriguing novel as I learned that there are two perspectives interwoven within one another. The correlation between every character does not make it seem as it is two books put into one. It was also interesting to notice that the metaphors used such as the one of the telescope and the one of the microscope in chapter six, page 59-60, all relate to the "visionary future" mentioned on page 27 of chapter three. The "visionary future" has the word vision in it indicating a meaning to see. The telescope and microscope are both objects in which one uses their vision to see and look t a clear image of some sort. And with this in mind, there is no clear distinction where the two different perspectives of the two books are seen to be obvious. In addition, I liked the flow of the plot. This is because the book started off introducing the main characters with background information. The not so main characters were introduced in a different way and when taken a look at the two different ways, we can see who the main protagonists are and who are not.
    A question I am wondering about is whether Sir James is older than Causabon or Causabon is older than Sir James?

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    1. period 2, group 2

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    2. This past Saturday I took labs in the Middle March Marathjn, where my classmates and I read George Elliot's, Middle March. For six hours, we followed along while the quests speaker read Book one: Miss Brooke. At first I did not know what to expect but once we started it was my goal to finish strong. Miriam Margolyes, also known as Professor Sprout in Harry Potter, started off the Marathon with an amazing vibe and entrances reading skills. She was by far my favorite reader from the whole marathon, although everyone did great. The reason that she was my favorite reader was becuase she seemed really fascinated with the book; she also would give background information to things most of us are not aware of. We would take breaks after each hour or so, when we did it was relieving because after a while, sitting down can get tiring and my legs would occasionally get numb. Throughout the marathon there were times that I would almost loose focus becuase of the amount of time spent there, but it was a mental thing and I pushed myself through the it. Overall this marathon was not bad at all, it took dedication and concentration. I recommend if and encourage other scholars to take on this challenge!

      - Vanessa Zelaya
      Period 2
      Group 1

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  6. Throughout the six hour marathon reading, I really was amazed how the narrator had to keep her identity a secret because of the time period she was in. It's also interesting how she included the understanding of the class system back in that time. The contrast between women and men created emotional shift towards characters like Celia and Dorothea. Even though most of the women were considered lower than middle class, it seemed Mrs. Cadwaller, Celia, and Dorothea were still involved in conversation. Even when in conversations, women were still scolded.


    Also, I honestly want to thank Miriam Margolyes for being so enthusiastic with the way she said her words as she read. I really felt engaged as a listener. I felt I could relate to her. One thing that I really took from her was the fact that she said how much we(teenagers) should enjoy our teenage years. How we shouldn't take the early adolescence for granted. She really inspired me to tackle this novel. I sincerely appreciated her honesty about the book. Even though she gave a little spoiler, everything was great.

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  7. Middlemarch was such a interesting novel, I've never read a book similar and the thoughts on gender were what really caught my attention. An example would be how there were many comments on women and how they were portrayed as in that time. "Women were expected to have weak opinions"(Chapter 1, pg.9) Women back then were just wives, someone to claim. Another example of how women were treated was when they were simply just an object for men was in Chapter 10, pg. 89: "I like a women who lays herself out a little more to please us."
    I really enjoyed when we were being read to by Miriam Margolyes. I really enjoyed how she interacted with us and how energetic and engaging she was. I was very attentive to the book when I was being read to by someone who had put some spirit and life to the reading. By changing her voice with each character, it really helped me in picturing the characters and how they were like.
    Some questions I still have are:
    - Why did Dorothea stay with Casaubon regarding the age gap?
    - What was the message or point of her marrying someone older than someone her age? Is there a story behind that?
    - How will Celia's and Dorothea's relationship change throughout the book?
    -Dayanara Saucedo, Group 6, Period 2

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  8. Throughout the rigorous 6 hours we had to endeavor during our Middlemarch marathon, we were finally able to complete book one( Miss Brooke ) of Middlemarch. The book itself was very interesting despite a few "insider" references within the book, the few chapters we read really described the time period the book was written in. It referenced many belittling moments many female characters had to deal with not only in the book but based off the big picture women in the world . The book really emphasized both genders quite explicit . describing men as seeking pleasure from women and women having no say in certain moments and to accept reality, but without a doubt the book in its few chapters has described the ambient our fellow characters live in.
    With regards to who i believe read and brought joy in reading this book, id have to say Christian Lehmann as he not only brought excitement but what i believe the true tone the boom was to be read in. He has made these past few hours bearable and brought joy into reading this intimidating book as we know as Middlemarch.
    - Luis Jimenez P.1 Group 6

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  9. Throughout the rigorous 6 hours we had to endeavor during our Middlemarch marathon, we were finally able to complete book one( Miss Brooke ) of Middlemarch. The book itself was very interesting despite a few "insider" references within the book, the few chapters we read really described the time period the book was written in. It referenced many belittling moments many female characters had to deal with not only in the book but based off the big picture women in the world . The book really emphasized both genders quite explicit . describing men as seeking pleasure from women and women having no say in certain moments and to accept reality, but without a doubt the book in its few chapters has described the ambient our fellow characters live in.
    With regards to who i believe read and brought joy in reading this book, id have to say Christian Lehmann as he not only brought excitement but what i believe the true tone the boom was to be read in. He has made these past few hours bearable and brought joy into reading this intimidating book as we know as Middlemarch.
    - Luis Jimenez P.1 Group 6

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  10. Through out the book Middlemarch, I've come to to find Mr.Brookes quite interesting. What I found most interesting was in chapter 7, he believes that Learning Latin & Greek will not be good for Dorothea. He believes that "female minds are weak". I'm sure I found this so interesting because In this day in age women Are on their way up to be on an equal standing with men. Mr.Brookes also believes that women should stick to light reading and music. He is very sexist and it makes you think about weather or not Dorothea still wanted to learn it or not based on his opinions.
    Another thing I found interesting was also in chapter 7. Mr.Casaubon has opposite views then those of Mr.Brooke. He is happy for Dorothea to be leaning Greek and Latin, so she can copy the characters for him & also copy manuscripts for him. he thinks it'll be good for her.
    A question I would have is How does Dorothea deal with many of the sexist comments, that not only Mr.Brookes says but what other people might think to.
    -Alyssa O'Neill Period 2

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  11. As we read through Middlemarch, I was able really get to know Dorothea as a character. Being a women of extreme knowledge and the total opposite of an ideal wife she is thrilled to have found a man who she believes will accept her for who she is. Despite his way older age, she decides to marry Casaubon because of his knowledge and because with him she believes to be able to keep learning without being judged. As the book goes on Dorothea begins to get annoyed of her new husband, and Casaubon seems to realize that she is more into her knowledge than he thought she was.
    Dorothea at first starts of as a not so interesting character but as the novel goes on she starts to build up .

    As the first speaker, Miriam Margolyes was able to really give personality to the characters and keep me engaged in the reading. I liked the way she paused at times to give explanations on things she believed we wouldn't understand because it clarified and gave me a better understanding on what was going on. This marathon for me was definitely a challenge since I'm not much of a reader but having someone like Miriam read it out loud definitely helped me keep my focus.

    - Samantha Suarez
    Group 1
    Period 2

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  12. What I learned from experiencing the Middlemarch marathon was a clearer understanding of Dorothea Brooks and her profile as a character. At first I believed that Dorothea was just a young lady that craved attention, and in that context I was not totally wrong, however as we kept on reading, Ms. Barrios proposed a question that made me ponder as to where Dorothea was really coming from. I believe that was the most memorable moment because I learned why George Elliot uses this obsession of cottages for Dorothea. Dorothea only has her sister and her uncle, of course her uncle allows her to do whatever she wants and her sister is very caring towards her but she still lacks that maternal figure. The lack of maternal figure leads me to believe that she has an urge or an obsession to fix things, more specifically, to fix a home where there is a great need. Hence, these cottages symbolize a warm, earthly home that in this time, is not well kept and needs revisions because the poor people living in them, or rather, Dorothea feels that the people don’t have a sense of a home in such an uncared for cottage.
    -Jessica Hernandez-Flores, Period 2, Group 1

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  13. Middlemarch was a very fascinating novel to me because it really caught my attention. On page 24 Dorothea’s allusion to “affable archangel” in explaining her feelings about Mr. Casaubon, but also how he is angelic and how later on she stated to consider him as the right man for her. What I did enjoy was seeing that Dorothea didn’t mind the age difference between her and Mr. Casaubon, but how she admires the way he is. Another thing that caught my attention was how women were entitled. In chapter 1 page 9 “Women were expected to have weak opinions” stood out to me because women weren’t seen as much, but also represents how in George Elliot was able to express how women were entitled in her time. What I really enjoyed the most was how we were being read to by different people because they took time from their own schedule to come read to us, but also to encourage us about reading this novel. When Miriam Margolyes and Christian Lehmann changed their tone I was able to picture the characters in my head.
    One question that I have is whether Mr. Casaubon age difference will have an impact later on with Dorothea?
    -Evelyn Cifuentes, P.2 Group 6

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  14. I personally have never read a novel like MiddleMarch it was definitely a new experience that I enjoyed. This book compared to the others I have read in the past is sophisticated and complex which makes it all that much more interesting. The first book "Miss Brooke" captured my attention because of the various outlandish characters and unconventional relationships Eliot created. One of the most intriguing relationships was the one that sparked up and continued to flare between Dorothea Brooke and Edward Casaubon, it was pretty obvious to everyone the age difference between the two but despite it their relationship continued to grow stronger and I would argue not fully because of love but knowledge. Dorothea's character and way of being was really what kept me reading. Her choice to be with someone double her age just to further her education and edification was incredible she was willing to break all norms. Elliot and this book taught me that being a women in that time period made it difficult to do the things you enjoyed but it did not make it impossible this book and Elliot symbolize to me the saying 'where there is a will there is a way'. Elliot as miss Miriam Margoyles said will forever and always be the bravest women and author we ever learn of.
    -Yasmine Carrera, Period:2, Group 6

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  15. Though the long rigorous hours we were able to accomplish finally finishing one of the many books in Middlemarch. On this journey of reading this book [Miss Brooke], we were introduced to Dorothea, which to myself was a very complex and yet simple character because she wanted someone who was knowledgeable but yet accepted her for who she was , which was that she wasn't a ordinary wife. But in the beginning of this book I believed that she just was seeking the knowledge and no expectations from any one . As this story goes on she starts realizing that her older husband Casaubon makes her grow bored and she realizes that she is just with him for the knowledge . In reading this I had one interesting question which was is the price of knowing something really worth it in the end?
    - Daniel Ramos , Period 2, Group 3

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  16. During the Middlemarch marathon I was really interested in the relationship between Dorothea and Casaubon and the social expectations of marriage back then. Therefore a memorable moment/quote was "A woman dictates before marriage in order that she may have an appetite for submission afterwards." (chapter 9, page 73) I feel like George Eliot was giving us her opinion on the social expectations of women after marriage. This ironic quote is about the way women were expected to behave in the 19th century. Also wives might have been taught by society that they always have to give into their husband's decisions after getting married which is something George Eliot might have not been too fond of. Also, I am really interested in Dorothea and Celia's relationship because they are related yet so different from one another so I am excited to see how they continue in this novel.
    Pertaining to the marathon I am grateful that we had speakers come in to help us read this very intimidating book. I appreciated Christian Lehmann and his enthusiasm and how he brought the book to life when reading his chapter.
    Some final questions:
    -Is there a meaning behind the age difference between Dorothea and Casaubon?
    -Is Casaubon the "villain" in the novel who will suck the life out of Dorothea as the novel progresses?

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  17. In Middlemarch the story is set in the community of Middlemarch where Dorothea is seen being infatuated by Mr. Casaubons knowledge in which she fancies, but where the Middlemarch community considers to be a horrid disgust and as well as for the audience too. The story also progresses through the conversations between the already known characters gossiping about other characters that haven't been mentioned, but is used by Eliot to introduce newer characters and conflicts. Interestingly, Eliot goes between the use of the narrator and other characters to be the speaker. Which at times makes me wonder who is the narrator exactly? Is it the conscious of Dorothea Brooke or perhaps is it a witness of the events occuring in MiddleMarch?

    In addition, I feel that Dorthea is a representation of George Eliot, an embodiment, of her beliefs towards the patriarchal standards of the 19th century and the accustomed traditions that were implemented in gender roles. Eliot wasn't able to change the position of woman, perhaps in the real world during the 19th century, but was able to do so in Middlemarch, however. Perhaps one of the reasons why she fell infatuated for Mr. Casaubon is because he is not fascinated in what a woman should be, but is fascinated in his own study of theology. However, since he is old it can also represent the rebellion of what is considered to be the ideal position of a woman to her liking an older man rather than the ideal suitor who is younger. I think. I also think that Mr. Casaubon is like a vampire in that he is old, but is an attraction towards the younger infatuated Ms. Brooke. It is not really shown of evidence that Casaubon is perhaps the villain of sorts in the novel, but in chapter 10 it's shows that "For the first time in speaking to Mr. Casaubon she colored from annoyance" which probably means that he finds her annoying. Perhaps, Mr. Casaubon does not really like Ms. Brooke but exploits her for either lust or something else for his benifit like a vampire: symbolically. I believe. Throughout the entire book it is a realistic story between the characters, but to what made the entire marathon really admirable, I think, is the enthusiasm of the readers that read with emotion and embodied the characters to help make them distinct from other characters. For this great experience I am thankful of Miriam Margolyes and others who had read for us. Thank you.
    Salvador E. Villafana
    Period 2
    Group 2

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  18. What I enjoyed about the marathon was that I got to meet Miriam, and she read to me and everyone. I also enjoyed staying USC till night with my fellow classmates but overall I liked that all NAI staff and teachers were there supporting us and that they took their time in educating us. I learned that in writing you can have different ways in interpreting the writing. There is never just one right thing/ opinion. I learned with the change in a persons tone a sentence can mean a whole variety of emotion. My memorable memories were the time were we got lolipops from Dr. Zarate and the part where we were read to by Ms. Barrios at a great speed. I was happy to see that people wanted us to push forward and read to us with such passion and energy. It allowed me to think and analyze the piece of work infront of me. To ask a character : why did you do that! Some questions I have is why is dorothea so blind with the love of mr. Causabon? How does Dorothea's uncle truely feel about their engagement? What importance is it that we introduce the new characters like Mr. Vincy etc.
    What gave Eliot the courage to write? What imspired her? So far I like this book not only because the main protagonist is a women who is smart and brave but that its almost like a mystery. The chapters coming up are full with answers and mystery that you are just waiting to know/ find out.
    - Aileen hernandez
    ( period 1, group 1)

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  19. Going through the Middlemarch novel with readers was the most memorable event as I mot only listened to the story but their performance. They reader had clear shift in their voice when it came to changing from character into narrator within a chapter and vice versa. Also, I learned from their choice of pauses as this was my first time reading a novel I found these techniques helpful in understanding the novel. I most enjoyed the idea that Eliot was able to convey a woman so 'headstrong' or a woman that 'wished to be wise herself' while in a Victorian period where 'headstrong woman such as herself weren't taking so serious. Overall, the marathon was a success as we got through book 1 and I feel left with an understanding of book 1.
    What is the connection between Dorothea and Mary Evans? Was a pen name used to progress her work or prevent the questioning of her own marriage?
    What is the correlation of how Eliot decides to bring in a new character and the characters traits?

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    1. Continued..
      What significance do the different views of marriage and what to look for in a person when considering marriage have?
      It was interesting to see how the men and woman's ideology of marriage differ and how men's ideal marriageable woman differ. What is Eliot trying to say about marriage and its significance?

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  20. From this marathon and from the book 'Middlemarch' itself, I learned about a very intriguing character (and so far my favorite): Dorothea. Dorothea is the epitome of a strong independent woman especially at that time. We see this as she challenges the male obligations (or societal obligations in general) such as marrying who her father wants her to marry and being studious. Despite her obdurateness, we see a more complex Dorthea as she falls in love with Sir Casaubon, a man who is 28 years older than her-- a very simple man, wise and all-- but who might have darker intentions that Dorothea is Blind to see. What I found ironic about all this was the fact that Dorothea says at one point that all men are monotonous (excluding Casaubon of course) yet she falls for a man who might just be like the rest. This may be a crucial point toward the story as a whole but I am not entirely sure. Also, Miriam mentioned Casaubon’s turning dark or villainous and I am anticipating how would he change, why would he change and what would his intentions be? We saw a glimpse of the turning point and the plotting of Casaubon but I felt it wasn’t nearly enough to vilify him. Despite not being a Harry Potter fan or not knowing about Professor Sprout, I especially enjoyed Miriam Margoyle’s concluding remarks. She explained to us that Middlemarch, along with all pieces of literature, isn’t just an amalgamation of pages and concepts but lessons and valuable perspectives that have great potential to change our lives forever, once read, and that we shouldn’t let that slip through our fingers or take advantage of it. I found that highly inspiring and if I had that miniature speech written down or recorded in some way I’d quote her and use it to inspire and encourage others to read literature.
    -Tobias, Adan / Per.1 / Group 2

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  21. After the long hours of reading middle man March I didn't actually realize the good time I was having until after the marathon. I really enjoyed meeting Miriam, having her read to us was amazing but the talk she gave us after was even more. I also enjoyed the time I was able to spend with my NAI family. We might see each other at school all the time but doing something like that was very interesting and enjoyable to a certain extent. I really liked how in the book Dorthea and Celia were always bickering. It reminded me of that sibling rivalry that people have with their families. Also seeing how they just acted and the fact that this story was written so long ago but you are still able to make comparisons with them and siblings today is what I also found interesting. In the end it was a great book and u really enjoyed it along with the marathon

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  22. During this six hour marathon, I learned that Dorothea and Celia are both symbolic figures. From my understanding, Celia can be seen as a representation of her own society while Dorothea can be perceived as a more progressed society. I absolutely loved the way George Eliot makes fun of Celia because it can be seen as a discreet way to mock and challenge that society. I enjoyed how the readers put emotion into the text instead of reading just to get over it. A very enjoyable moment was getting to meet Miriam Margolyes. I found it the fact that she took time out of her day to come read to us really sweet. I appreciate all the readers for coming out to support all of us through this extremely long marathon. My favorite moment however, would be when Ms. Jacqueline Barrios read the last chapter, I have never heard anyone read as fast as Ms. Barrios did. It almost seemed as if she was rapping. I wonder if George Eliot wrote this book for any reason not though of yet. I also wonder if George Eliot wrote this book to challenge what was considered to be normal in her very own society.
    Maggie Marroquin period 1

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  23. In the long six hours of being part of the Middle March Marathon,I learned that Dorothea had my attention because she is a strong independent woman who overcome obstacles that got in her way. I see this when the Men were in charge and had authority on who she can marry. I found it interesting how much it relates to families in this era and it made me see that every family can never be perfect they always have some conflicts. A memorable moment in chapter 11 line 1 is when Mr.Lydgate see's a woman in an artistic independent or in music how a symphony makes everyone section come together to make a collaborative warm bright sound and feeling to vision a woman or a person you love.I wonder if George Eliot went through the same conflicts in his life when he made this book?
    Michael Carrillo/per. 1/ Group 4

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  24. From the start, I was captivated by the way George Elliot contrasted the two sisters Dorothea and Celia. I learned from Dorothea that "What will suit one will not suit another" (12). I totally agree with her because everything in life has a destination and a place or someone to belong to for a particular reason that it is best for that moment and person; everything is not created to fit everyone, instead to a particular group of people or person. One of my most memorable moments at the reading marathon was when Miriam was reading, her tone created vivid images in my mind of the main characters revealed at the beginning of the story. The passion in her voice was so distinguished that I clearly understood when there were shifts in characters, perspectives, and points of views. Additionally, her level of projection for each character gave me an insight of the contrast between Dorothea and Celia- one being brave and challenging while the other being calm, amiable and more innocent. The exact of words that Miriam chose to describe the characters to wrap her hour stood out to me the most. She reveals Dorothea's character more in depth, and she inspired me to focus on Dorothea's character and actions. As we read the chapters I definitely saw Dorothea's character through the scope that Miriam had described and I began to feel motivated by her character because Dorothea as a young lady is so different from the ideal woman-she was filled with aspirations ,hunger, and desires to help her own people for the better and to expand her knowledge. Her great enthusiasm and eagerness of proceeding with her plans of building the cottages for the people was rare because she immediately starts out as a character for having such a genuine interest in aiding others whom she sees are living in poor conditions. I wonder to what extent will Dorothea fancy over Mr. Casasubon and what or who will be the main agent that will drive her into clarity and realization that maybe they are not destined to be together? Will Celia end up accepting Mr. Casaubon as her sister's future husband, or will Dorothea decide to part from him because of her family?

    Millie Sanchez, Period 1, Group 4

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  25. Something that I learned while reading some part of the book Middlemarch by George Eliot is that while we were reading through it, I was getting a better understanding of it little by little.Something that I enjoyed was that different people were reading chapters to the class and I found that more interesting which didn't make me bored at all , and also how they brought us food and candy which was even more entertaining and made it seem even more like a marathon. A memorable moment that I will try not to forget was when Miriam M. went to go read with us, she made the first two chapters very interesting with her accent.Also the way how the other people read to us like Ms.Barrios and Ms.Thoms Barrios,they were reading with joy and not with a boring tone.One question that I have is about George Eliot and is that why did she change her name to George Eliot.
    Allan Garcia,Group4,period1

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  27. After six hours of reading Middlemarch by George Eliot was that the book was great. What I enjoyed the most was when Miriam was reading the first two chapter for us the reality was that she used her acting skills to bring out characters dialogue and making the worth reading and listen to. Book one introduced Dorothea, which was a complex woman and yet simple a character because what she wanted was someone who would accept her for who she is because she was knowledgeable and for society she wasn't considered an ideal woman. As for Rosamond was the perfect women because a woman should not be knowledgeable, opinionated, or being able to make decisions. For society at that time was that a woman should just be pleasant, shallow, pretty, and vain in order them to be considered “ideal”.-Ignacio Gonzalez period 2

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  28. By completing our objective from the first book of Middlemarch, this piece thoroughly captured my mind from the perspectives on these two sisters Dorothea and Celia, it embraces upon both having different characteristics and the way each look up to society. I view Dorothea as an extremely-passionate human being serving to society with a strong attitude towards religion, whereas Celia who is a lovely sister everyone will love to have, but with a less connection to humanity. One thing that I like about these sisters is their relationship- it's nice to see how us readers can capture their own way of being, and how we can feel the tension in between them. Just by navigating upon their mother's jewelry box, we can now see the connection and how each depicts a different perspective towards society. I love how science and religion legitimizes certain aspects throughout this novel, it incorporates the faith and wisdom through determination. Also, it's interesting to endure the novel with a gap age between Dorothea and Casaubon love. One quote I found absorbing was “I should not wish to have a husband very near my own age, I should wish to have a husband who was above me in judgement and in all knowledge,” this seeks my mind from that of Midsummer Night’s Dream, Helena mentioning her love to as “Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind.” I feel the connection between these two quotes because it provocatively engages Dorothea as not only looking through a physical appearance, but with the mind of one who has knowledge and wisdom. Physical appearance isn't what Dorothea obligates to, she wishes a man who has courage, a handsome man that brings both intelligently and courageously reasoning. Some questions I have will be: How will the relationship be towards both sisters serving on to the society? How is age gap between a love tension being viewed during that time period? How will religion and science serve throughout the whole novel?

    -Juan Pablo Blanco, Period 1.

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  29. After reading Middle March by George Elliot, we see that Dorothea's love for Casaubon is getting stronger and we see that Dorothea sees him as a husband figure. "What will suit one will not suit another." This is important because Celia and Dorothea are diffrent and Celia believes that Casaubon isn't the man for her. I really enjoyed how Christian read the book because when he read the 2 chapters i really knew what was going on. I thought it was interesting when christian read out loud and had his hand movements because we knew that something interesting or serious was about to happen. One thing that connected tocme was Celia and Dorothea and this was because they were two sisters who had diffrent opinions on everything and were really the opposite and it reminds me to me and my brother because we are really the opposite of each other. I enjoyed the people reading the book because they made the characters seem like they were live acting it instead of just reading it from a book.
    Ricky Sebastian. Period 2. Group 5

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  30. Middlemarch Marathon Reflection
    Our MIddlemarch Marathon will be quite a memorable experience. Book One was very interesting and the character so far that I've been carefully observing is Mr. Casaubon because his personality is very intriguing. learned plenty of things that night, but what stuck out to me the most, was the topic of female inferiority and the way that men considered the ideal woman to be. Women were supposed to stay quiet and abide by their husbands rule. They seemed to be more of a decoration than human beings. I honestly could not imagine myself in a world where I had to be ditzy and dependant to be considered desirable, and I’m glad that Dorothea doesn’t let society’s views shape her. The most enjoyable moment for me was meeting Miriam Margoyles considering that I am such a HUGE Harry Potter fan (my childhood honestly). Another memorable part for me was the last chapter, when Ms. Barrios’ reading speed matched that of Eminem’s rapping skills. That was fun. Something that I have been questioning so far is just how Dorothea’s and Mr. Casaubon’s relationship will end. They seem too similar to be able to function properly. Their relationship reminds me of a match that burns too brightly too fast, so it burns out quicker.
    -Alexa Vasquez period 1 group 2

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  31. Aside from having a long day at school and having to attend the Middlemarch Marathon with a 20 minute break after school was over, I gained a once in a life time experience.When being in the Middlemarch Marathon and reading book 1, I learned that George Eliot was a very smart woman. She did not want to reveal her real name which was Mary Ann Evans due to her wanting to hide her identity as of who she really was because she feared that her work would not mean a lot because she was a woman. Therefore, she decided to use a unisex pen name so that people would not judge her work or make her feel that what she was saying was very un important and she also wanted to prevent all the types of stereotypes.Something that I highly enjoyed was the fact that some readers such as Miriam Margolyes, and Christian put a lot of enthusiasm in the reading making me stay engaged and entertained with their voice changes.A memorable phrase that stood out to me was when women where under estimated of what they were capable of doing and what they said did not matter because it was just an ordinary opinion. This shows that men always though that they were on top of the ladder and that they were so much more powerful than women.Sexism was a big thing back then because women where always told that they had to stay home and do chores and have everything done while the men would go work to support the family.

    Klarissa Ayon, Period:1, Group:2

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  32. Victoria Garcia-LopezSeptember 19, 2016 at 8:57 PM

    During the MiddleMarch Marathon, I found it was quite intriguing actually, the story itself and as well as George Elliot’s choice of writing. From incorporating her two books into one and even her style of switching from outside narrative who has thoughts on the characters to Dorothea’s inner thoughts to even others. In the end, the part that fascinated me the most was the way George Elliot wrote her characters, both main and minor. Some if not many were interwoven in a connection that was of importance, although there is one character who has the most “Screen time” of all and that is Dorothea Brooke, who caught my attention. Dorothea, the older of the two Brooke sisters as well as hinted at as the beautiful, sophisticated and intelligent one of both sisters is strange but the most believable character in my opinion. From her dreaming about changing the world or her surrounding world to falling in love with an older man. The way George Elliot wrote her as if she could be a real person, was intriguing. To me she seems as the character that makes even the questionable decisions seem certain and the most certain decisions be questionable. From the moment she met Casaubon and fell in love. At first I thought that was very impulsive of her. But then again it made her more real. Many fall in love blind and some say that can be a flaw. I also remember trying to see her perspective of the man. She viewed him as a man of pure intelligence whom she can bound endless conversations with. But though out the story we begin to see her love for him fade even by a bit of annoyance. This leads to me seeing her plan decisions that don’t seem fully thought out. Did it ever occur to her that his age difference can be a blessing and a curse? The thing about that is that the more I read about Dorothea as herself which was lively and passionate about making plans for cottages and Dorothea with Casaubon, the one who was just his really young wife, it drew me even more to her character, leading me to question why was she different then the rest of the characters? Was she another part of George Elliot herself? A women of intelligence who is also human indeed.

    -Victoria Garcia-Lopez, Period 2

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  33. In the first book of Middlemarch much of my attention was towards Dorothea, Sir James, and Mr. Casaubon. The situation between these three characters is that Dorothea is in love with Mr. Casaubon and both are actually planning to marry each other but Sir James, being in love with Dorothea as well, doesn't want this. This is something that I see often in literature by the way, like for example with Midsummer nights dream, we see people in love with each other but someone else loves the same person which results in some conflict. Continuing we see that Sir James is going through denial, he doesn't want to believe this is happening. What perhaps makes Dorothea's and Mr. Casaubon's marriage a bit unsettling to Sir James is the age gap between the two. This brings up a question for me, at that time period was it common to see a great age difference between a married couple? Everyone in the books makes it seem as its no big deal (except Sir James of course) which can be understandable since its Dorothea's life and she can make her own decisions. This was definitely a memorable experience for me, it's something a lot of us have never done or ever considered doing but we did gain some knowledge from it. I would say the most memorable moment from the whole experience is having to see Miriam Margoyles, especially since I'm a big fan of Harry Potter. Her acting skills really made reading the book that much more interesting, perhaps it was the English accent?
    -Gabriel Juarez, period 1, group 1

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  34. Throughout the Middlemarch marathon, I enjoyed the love situation Eliot writes about. She expresses how feelings can be blinding to those who have too much feelings. This spoke to me because I feel like many young adults get fascinated with the idea of being in love and it blinds them from what the relationship really is. Most of the time people look at love as this great thing but through Eliot's Middlemarch I learned that sometimes love is a questionable feeling. It's not only questionable whether or not the love is real, but also if the love is actually worth it. I feel as if several people look at love and only think of happiness but Eliot teaches us that this is not always the case through the relationship of Dorothea and Casaubon. It can actually be the exact opposite of happiness, complete discomfort and misery. This really sticks out to me because it sits as a lesson to all of us to be more aware of our feelings. I think express this to the younger generation more because I believe that growing up, people tend to have this misconception of feelings that lead to this “blindness”. It may sound silly to some, but I suggest that everyone should be cautious when it comes to feelings. If you don't take caution to it, you might find yourself being blind by your feelings and find yourself in the struggle of being in a commitment with someone that is absolutely horrible when you first thought that it would be amazing. For obvious reasons I am calling this misconception the blind side.

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  35. The Middlemarch marathon was a one in the life time experience since: I have not been in a reading marathon as well as I have not read a whole book in 6 hours. What I learned from this experience was George Elliot (Mary Ann Evans) is a sneaky woman in that she portrayed her thoughts as if they were a character. For example, Dorothea is a woman that is a pleasant figure to be around, beautiful and intelligent however her sister Celia is the opposite ( still beautiful although)is accepted more often by men. This represents the harsh reality of George Eliot's time in that men would rather have "housewife" rather than an intelligent women. A memorable experience is one that most of my peers have said, meeting Miriam Margoyles and also being a part of a reading marathon. As mentioned earlier, I have not participated in a reading marathon before hence why it shall always be a favorite memory of mine. What I dearly enjoyed so much is that we had readers read for us which made the marathon less tedious and exciting perhaps. Questions I still have about the book are: Will Dorothea realize Casoubon is the man she really wants to be with? Will Celia find a lover? Also a question on George Elliot is: If she were a character from the book who would she be? Or is she a mixture of all the characters?-Sergio Lopez, Period 1

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  36. On Saturday I learned that roughly 60 people in one room can read a 12 chapter book in six hours. I really enjoyed the relationship that Dorthea had with Sir James Chettam. It was almost comical how the pair had their moments of misinterpretation and ultimately they did not desire each other. Like first Sir James wants to keep talking about himself to Dorthea while she wants to hear Mr. Casaubon. Then he thinks that she feels sheepish around him because of her anger blush and interest in building cottages on his property. Then once both characters realize what was really going on they don’t want to accept it. Dorthea genuinely thought Sir James had interest in building the cottages and Sir James thought he was making progress with Dorthea because she allowed him a conversation. I question if relationships like Dorthea’s and Mr. Casaubon have ever been common or have always looked down upon. In our society, well the way I was raised, it is uncommon and even criticized if a very young woman is to be in a relationship with a much older man. One thing I found memorable in Middlemarch was when Dorthea realized that the old dried up Casaubon was not what she truly wanted and when Casaubon came to the conclusion that his matrimony with Dorthea was not going to bring him joy and company the way he wanted it to.

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  37. The start of the Middlemarch marathon was amazing with Miriam Margolyes reading to us the first two chapters of book one; it only kept getting better though. Being read to made me feel like a child all over again, and George Eliot did a wonderful job of captivating my attention on this book. With every turn of the page I kept wondering what was going to happen next, would Dorothea pick Sir James or Mr. Casaubon? Why did Dorothea pick Mr. Casaubon and not Sir James?; with every turn of a page a new question waiting to be answered. I personally found myself interconnected with the book several times throughout the marathon; at first with the comparison of both sisters Dorothea and Celia and several times whenever the idea of the ideal woman was challenged in the book. The comparison of Dorothea and Celia made me think of my sister and I, how we are sisters but we are very different from one another; I always compared my sister and I to Dorothea and Celia and came to the conclusion that we are both Dorothea but my sister has a hint of Celia in her. I also felt very defensive whenever women were portrayed as an ornament that was to just look innocent and pretty without being able to voice its thoughts because this is one of the reasons why Mary Ann changed her name to George Eliot in the first place. I personally love Dorothea’s character and I can’t wait to see how she grows as an individual and what other twists George Eliot has to offer us, she challenges us to see beyond just words in pages.

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  38. On behalf of the NAI Senior class I want to thank Jill Galvan for the support and time she dedicated to us and for that amazing short video in which she further unravels the mysteries that George Eliot has written. When we watched Jill’s video the Senior class and I were able to agree and more clearly comprehend that George Eliot doesn’t just throw several ideas together and hope for the best; we realized George Eliot carefully planned for Dorothea to fall “in love” with Mr. Casaubon and for Dorothea to desire cottages to be built just to name a few examples. The encouragement and support we received from Jill Galvan and many others is highly appreciated by our NAI Senior class and Ms. Jacqueline Barrios.

    -Angelica Vasquez period 1 group 4

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  39. I enjoyed how in the first book of Middlemarch by George Eliot, the the sisters Dorothea and Celia seem to be opposites of each other for the most part. For example, Dorothea seems to be oblivious in what's going on around her, she thought that Sir James was trying to enchant her sister Celia when Celia was clearly able to see that Sir James was after Dorothea. I’m also amazed with the way that Dorothea and Celia uncle Mr. Brooke lets them carry out in the way that they please, like his was of letting Dorothea choose who she was going to be able to marry instead of it being bestowed upon her like it was usually done at that time. I enjoy how some of these characters were able to break away from the social norms that were being placed at the time and carried on like if it was no big deal. I’m wondering if Dorothea will ever hold herself back from doing something because she realizes that it didn't fit the social norm?

    Adriana Caselin Peiod:2 Group:5

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  40. This Middlemarch marathon taught me that I can indeed read for six hours straight. I was enjoyed being read to and it caught my attention more because I felt as if the book was coming to life. I was physically there but my mind was in this whole different universe within this book. Dorothea was a character that stood out to me due to the fact that I feel that everyone can relate to her in such a way. I was captivated by the way people were judging her by her conception of love. Love was a powerful tool which was used amongst the characters but each and every one of them had a different interpretation of it. Gender Inequality has been something that has always caught my attention due to the fact as a young women in this society, I observe the different ways that women are constantly being put down. It makes me sad that until this day, this continues to exist and this book portrays a perfect example on how women are constantly being underestimated. George Eliot does a great job in building and creating a different personality for each character. Each character possess a quality which we can all somehow connect to. This reading marathon is something that I will remember forever especially because we had amazing readers support us and motivate us by taking reading to the next level and making it come alive.
    I wonder if Dorothea will somehow come to a realization and take into consideration if the love for Mr. Casaubon is as real as she had described? What new conception of love will she perceive?

    -Natalie Montenegro, Period 1, Group 6

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  41. Like many of my peers, I had never had the experience of doing a reading marathon. Although it was tough, brutal, and exhausting I wouldn't change the experience one bit, it was worth it. I hadn't had someone read to me since I was in like 5th grade and it was refreshing to have that experience once again. I went into the marathon under the impression that this would be some boring novel I wouldn't even be able to make sense of, but as it turned out, I felt other emotions that weren't tied to boredom. I laughed, I smiled, I got annoyed (at certain characters), and gained an understanding of what life was like for these female characters and George Eliot. I didn't think it was possible to read a book for 6 hours (especially one like this) and actually understand what was happening and know what the author was trying to convey when writing this literary work. George Eliot's writing holds the hands of reality. The situations she wrote about were common things that happened in her time but also in ours. She wrote about the "love" Dorothea felt for her husband. She was misguided and thought that he was the type of man that she wanted to spend the rest of her life with and she tried so hard to be perfect for him, despite the fact that, that wasn't who she truly was. I think we can all relate to thinking that we know what we want and to hiding who we are because our natural traits don't live up to society's standards. The situations George Eliot wrote about can apply to anyone and everyone at some point in their lives. This was what I liked most about this novel, the harsh reality of it all.
    I don't think I would've been able to survive the marathon without such wonderful readers, they brought the story to life and made it an all and all a wonderful and worthwhile experience.

    Questions I still have....
    1) I wonder if George Eliot would have used her real name if she had been alive today to publish her book.
    2) I wonder what inspired George Eliot to use so many scientific allusions in her novel.
    3) I wonder which character George Eliot would relate to the most from her novel.
    4) I wonder if George Eliot would have been able to get her message out if she had used her real name.

    -Breana Davidson P#2 Group #3

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  42. I have never in my life sat down for six hours just to read a book, but there is no doubt that it was enjoyable to say the least. What I found quite interesting was the background of George Eliot and how her actual name is Mary Ann Evans. She changed her name into a pen name in order to be recognized as a male author because at the time, women were not credited as much, or at all as men. So because this is part of her, I feel like she incorporates this into her writing. I see this whenever the author presents a male character and Eliot seems to always describe them with their success and their attributes. Female character like Celia and Dorothea are presented by their characteristics rather than their accomplishments which to me sounds like they are dependent on someone who is already successful in order to bring them success in life.

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  43. In the book Middlemarch by George Eliot, the charcaters that caught my attetion were Dorothea and Mr. Causaubon. To me it's still shocking that Dorothea wants to marry Causaubon. Though he is 27 years older than her, that doesn't stop her from getting her "love." Since Dorothea and her sister Celia lost their parents, I wonder if that's why Dorothea has this connection and being attached with Causaubon. If is because deep down she see's him as a father figure? I wonder this because Sir James was better match for her. He had the interests she had,especially with her cottages affection. The themes that I caught was love. Overall, I also learned that George Eliot used a pen name to hide her identity since back then gender roles was a big deal, which you can see happening in book 1.
    - Yvette (p..1) Group 6

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  44. Having a six hour marathon is a lifetime experience, and I want to thank NAI, Ms.Barrios and all the supporters who were with us during every step of the way.I really enjoyed the live readers that read to us with motion and action, they gave each character a different voice which helped many of us feel the text. Something that I really liked about book one, is how George Elliot incorporated each character as if it was a real life situation. Having inequality, and the women's perspective caught my attention because it still continues on right now. My favorite character so far has been Mrs. Casaubon because she was the town gossip, she was the one who judged others, I found a relationship with her because there is always someone who talks about you and someone who has a different point of view. What were some motives the George Elliot had in order to change her name and publish her book? Also, was her love life similar to this?

    Luciana Guerra p.2 group5

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  45. I enjoyed reading how Dorothea and Celia would never agree with each other and how opposite they were to each other. Along with Fred and Rosamond, these two always argueing. On page 82 you can notice how Celia is less afraid of speaking her thoughts to Dorothea. In chapter 11 Fred and Rosamond arguening on how Fred shouldn't be playing the flute but she gives in to helping him practice since she wants him to take her out riding. And later on Fred asks Rosamond if Mary, the girl that caught his eye, has said anything about him but Rosamond puts his hopes down instantly advising him to not fall in love with her. I like it because it lets me compare their relationships with the relationship I have with my siblings. Something that I found interesting was on page 33 when Dorothea is disappointed that Mr.Casaubon isn't interested in building cottages, the one thing that Sir James supports her with. Dorothea becomes engaged to marry Mr.Casaubon but then on page 87 she realizes that for the first time shes annoyed of speaking to Mr.Casaubon. Which then brings up my question, Will the age gap between Dorothea and Mr.Casaubon start to become a problem between the two?

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  46. Reading middlemarch has become very interesting because it incorporates various aspects that tie the book into an interesting plot. For example, Dorothea and Casaubons engagement. It's very interesting how many people believe that their relationship is morally wrong but we have not been put in Dorothea's shoes to fully understand her actions into why she is in love with Casaubon. Her interactions with certain characters, in their end gave birth to her falling in love with Casaubon. Our first guest speak commented how deeper in the story their relationship would change into something negative like their continuing disagreement in various things. My question is, is George Elliot creating tension in Dorothea's and Casaubons relationship in order to vilify Casaubon in the story, or is she simply describing a situation between a couple who are years apart in age?
    - Yulimar Ramos

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  47. After reading the beginning of middlemarch closing into the end of book one, I think it's become fascinating how Celias and Dorothea's relationship changes over the course of book one. In the beginning of the story we get various hints that Dorothea's and Celia's relationship is not as strong as we thought. Celia becomes envious because of Dorothea's choice of jewelry, they disagree on which suitor is best for Dorothea. Is George Elliot foreshadowing a fall of their sister relationship? Is this why the author wrote that Celia was a better suitor in Sir James's personal thoughts, to convey that Dorothea and Celia's relationship will turn into a competition?

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  48. In the middlemarch marathon I learned about how brave George Elliot was for writing and publishing, although in a pen name, in her time period. Is this possibly why she places Dorothea in very uncomfortable situations? Dorothea slowly loses her bond with her sister while building a stronger one with a man who she is judged for loving. Dorothea's interactions with characters portray how George Elliot could possibly be describing how hard it was for women to challenge daily life, although seen as minimal and less of superiors then men. Dorothea confronts various challenges that could support the idea of George Elliot be living in the importance of women's lives and how complicated they can be and not stereotypical like people believed.
    -karla parades

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  49. Throughout the six hours of the middle march marathon, I was intrigued by Dorothea. Dorothea is represented as a strong women and she wants to be independent. It is interesting how during that time period, women were seen and treated differently from men. But not Dorothea. I believe that this was the type of person "George Elliot" was, and wrote this book so people can see who she truly was. In addition, I really liked how Miriam Margolyes read the first two chapters. Miriam Margolyes read with passion and brought life to the book. She put emotion in every word she read and it made me want to keep on reading and listening.
    -Juan Zavaleta, Period 2

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  50. Middlemarch was definitely a hard reading. It used comparisons of different situations and emotional fluctuations to present comparisons of a beautiful romance and an exciting social reform. The story line to me is unpredictable and unconventional. Although the book is writing in old fashion I am always surprised to see the characters reaction to different problems.

    Darryinn-period 2

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