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

Middlemarch Marathon Hour 3: Chapter 6-8

By 1:30 PM ,

This hour we are reading chapters 6, 7, and 8. Commercial provided by your very own reading buddy, Sandy! Chapters to be read by the podcast. Please leave responses and thoughts on this hour's reading through a comment to this post!


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  1. A recurring idea I noticed in hour 3, chapter eight of our reading marathon was the denial of rejection. Sir James was not taking ig easy with the fact that Dorothea had chosen Mr. Causabon. Phrases that he repeated a couple of times were "ought to interfere" directed to Mr. Cadwallader and again in regards as to what Dorothea's friends should do. Also, he put the idea of the marriage into the perspective of what a father would say. For instance, he told Cadwallader if can "look at the affair with indifference" like wise to Rector.
    Fatima Saravia, period 2, group 2

  2. In Chapter 6, I really liked the way George Elliot described Mrs.Cadwallader. I feel Elliot emphasized the importance of Mrs. Cadwallader by stating all of the things Mrs. Cadwallader has said and done. For instance, Cadwallder is described as a lady of immeasurably high birth and a person who always let people know who she was by the way she speaks. I feel Mrs. Cadwallder is going to be the key to exploiting the true identity of Casaubon because she is always in the mix of things. One thing that gave me a signal of how Mrs. Cadwallder could exploit Casaubon was her conversation with Mr. Brooke. Given the fact the Mrs. Cadwallader said Casaubon will help Mr. Brooke with votes by bribing the voters with phamplets to disrupt the votes. Perhaps the whole perception of Casubon being so focused on "Chruch questions" could be a lie...

  3. "He has got no good red blood in his body," said Sir James. 'No. Somebody put a drop under a magnifying-glass and it was all semicolons and parentheses," said Mrs. Cadwallader."
    This part made me laugh because the way Sir James is trying to convince Mrs. Caswallader that Mr. Casaubon is no good for Dorothea is not working. Sir James says negative things about Casubon and Mrs. Caswallader says the opposite. Mrs. Caswallader believes Dorothea will be happier with Casaubon than with any other man. This made me wonder if Casabon will try to separate them in the future?
    Liliana Mejia period 1 group 5

  4. "Your sex are not thinkers, you know -varium et mutabile semper- that kind of thing."
    In a 19th century plot, George Elliot was able to finely incorporate the sexist perspective of women into Mr. Brooke. During this time period, women were viewed as inferior, less mentally capable beings than men were. Women were thought of as "fickle and changeable creatures" -hence the use of Virgil's quote 'varium et mutabile semper femina.' Although this was the popular perspective of the female mind, Elliot was able to defy the societal norm by incorporating the brilliant mind that is Dorothea Brooke.
    - Alexa Vasquez, Period 1, Group 2

  5. In chapter 8 Sir james is going through fustration and denial. He cant stand the fact that Dorothea likes Mr Casaubon and that she will be marrying him. He tries to convince Mr and Mrs. Cadwallader to interfere with Dorotheas marriage but they wont side with him. Something Im sure angered sir james is when Mrs. Cadwallader told him" For anything I can tell, miss brooke may be happier with him than she would be with any other man" because Sir james likes her and for anyone to hear that the person they like is happier with someone else must devastate them. Surprisingly enough after having that conversation, Sir James still decides to continue the plans to improve the cottages on his own estate because he knows it pleases her. I like this because even though Sir James may have had his heart broken he still wants to keep Dorothea happy.
    - Gabriel Juarez, Period 1, Group 1

  6. Francisco Merino (Period 1,Group 4)September 18, 2016 at 9:08 PM

    "Oh Mrs Cadwallader, I don't think it can be nice to marry a man with a great soul." said Celia. "Well my dear, take warning. You know the look of one now:when the next comes and wants to marry you, don't you accept him" said Mrs. Cadwallader."I'm sure I never should" said Celia.

    This dialogue from chapter 6 really put a grin on my face and made me glow because of Celia and Cadwallader's quirky and spontaneous personality that is down to earth.I find it ironic that Celia is down to Earth because her name,Celia, actually means sky.It could be that she is blind to a higher meaning in the story or maybe her name highlights her free soul and personality.Another note I made is that they seem to have a powerful chemistry that is similar to Celia and her sister, Dorothea. For example in the beginning of the story when Celia and Dorothea were having a conversation over her mothers jewelry; there was a similar comedic flow in dialogue such as the one I put in quotes. By adding this comedic effect to most of the dialogue Celia has I think of her as a really lively person which i'm sure the author has a reason for.

  7. In chapter 7, Eliot writes that "to have in general but little feeling, seems to be the only security against feeling too much on any particular occasion." I like this statement because I believe that through it, Eliot suggests that sometimes when you have too much feelings for someone it can blind you and get in the way of your reasoning. It serves as a question that makes me doubt whether or not being crazy in love with someone is such a good thing. This is all important because this shows how in some circumstances having too much feelings can make you irrational, and this is a price that Dorothea has to pay as we witness through the book.

  8. In chapter 8, I found it amusing how much Sir James disliked Casaubon. Especially considering that when Mr Cadwallader asked him "what do you know against him?" And he did not give him a legitimate reason. I found this interesting because the only argument Sir James had was "I don't like Casaubon" which I could picture him saying in a very dramatic and humorous way. Although I found it funny at the fact that Sir James couldn't come up with a real reason why he disliked Casaubon, there was still a thought in my mind that felt as if Sir James did know something wrong about Casaubon. This reveals that just because there weren't any secrets given out about Casaubon it doesn't mean that they don't exist; there can very well be some skeletons that he has in his closet.
    Group 6: Nayib, Natalie, Yvette, Karla, Luis, Chris

  9. In each chapter we were introduced to a new characters . I liked how each character had their own personality and had a very unique description. One of the characters that caught my attention the most and could imagine them was Mrs Cadwallder. I could see her talking to everyone and telling them the gossip she had heard! She was one of the characters who would criticize all the other characters. She was one of my most favorite character throughout the book.
    Lesly Aguilar Period:2 Group: 4

  10. "pride helps us; and pride is not a bad thing when it only urges us to hide our own hurts-not to hurt others."
    this quote has me thinking differently now because if we analyze the word "pride" we generally have a negative connotation in regards to this word but in this quote she explains pride isn't always bad if we don"t focus on hurting others but to improve our selves. this quote may have a deeper meaning in seeing future event we may compare pride to?
    Luis Jimenez
    P1 G6

  11. One thing I thoroughly enjoyed was how Elliot depicted Dorothea as a bittersweet character for example. Her excitement towards her ideas for the villages which leads to her completely overlooking Chettams obsession with her; but somehow she acknowledges his obsession at a certain point and scolds herself for it. Another point I acknowledged throug out book one was Elliots uncanny support towards "brotherhood"..... for example, Celia refers to her plans as a flop. But then she realizes it can work, her reference quickly turns into support and they eventually make up. Sisterhood.
    Jorge Mendoza P1 G3

  12. In hour 4, of the reading chapter 7, I was pleased by Dorothea's response to Mr. Brooke on not needing to know the 'feminine fine art' of playing a piano for her soon to be husband because ' Mr.Casaubon is not fond of the piano' thankfully for her sake. This showed how different their marriage and interests in each other were from other engagements seeming pure but made me wonder how blind Mr. Casaubon is to Dorothea's headstrong personality. Also, a favorite line of mine from this chapter, found on page #64, ' to have in general but little feeling, seems to be the only security against feeling too much on any particular occasion.'

    - Katherine Lora, period 2, group 1

  13. In chapter 6, the paragraph "We mortals, men and women, devour many disappointment between breakfast and dinner-time; keep back the tears and look a little pale about the lips, and in answer to inquiries say, 'oh, nothing!'Pride help us" had a big impact as a reader. I can see a relationship between the writer and their time period. Knowing that George Elliot was actually a female that changed her name in order to publish her books, made me believe that this was something that she related too. To overcome something, you have to move on and leave all negativity or obstacles behind.

    -Luciana Guerra p.2 group 5

  14. This part made me laugh because the way Sir James is trying to convince Mrs.
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