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Daniel Deronda

Daniel Deronda

by George Eliot

Daniel Deronda Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Identity

The search for identity – where and to whom one belongs – is at the heart of Daniel Deronda. Daniel has no idea what his background is; he just knows that Sir Hugo adopted him once upon a time....

Religion

They say that there are two things you should never talk about at a dinner party: religion and politics. Well, too bad – you can't get away from either in this book, as much of it is dedicated to...

Family

We don't just get to know characters as individuals in Daniel Deronda; we also get to know them as parts of families. Some characters, like Daniel, figure out more about who they are in terms of wh...

Gender

Lady Shmoopers: just be glad you are with us in the digital age and not in the Victorian era. Sure, it might be fun to sit around and play the piano and embroider things – maybe for like a day ...

Choices

Let's face it: we all hate having to make decisions. Well, the characters of Daniel Deronda are no different. Choosing one course of action over another is one of the biggest dilemmas that they fac...

Society and Class

Understanding the way society works and the rules that you have to play by is a fact of life that all of our characters have to deal with. Heck, it's something we have to deal with every day, too,...

Power

Power takes on a bunch of different forms in Daniel Deronda. Some people have financial power, some have political or social influence, and some people have great spiritual knowledge and other peop...

Foreignness and 'The Other'

Some characters in Daniel Deronda just don't seem to fit in. The novel mostly takes place in an upper-class English world of drawing rooms and high society. We definitely know when there are charac...

Marriage

Many novels in George Eliot's time had a tendency to romanticize marriage. In Daniel Deronda, however, we get a pretty diverse mix of examples of what marriage can look like. Marriage is one of the...

Secrets

Isn't kind of impressive how everyone in Daniel Deronda seems to either have a big secret or has to keep someone else's secret? The whole novel is filled with this vibe of "I know something you don...

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