by George Eliot
Analysis: What's Up With the Title?
Daniel Deronda. Seems pretty straightforward, right? Well, sure it is. There is a character in the novel named Daniel Deronda. In fact, the novel happens to be about him.
Is that it? Hmm…well, no. So we know Daniel Deronda is a character in this novel. But then, we ask, who is Daniel Deronda? Well, by cracking the book open and taking a look inside, we realize that it's not just us, the readers, who don't know who Daniel Deronda is; Daniel himself is trying to figure out the answer to that question. Daniel is a man who has no idea who his parents are, what his background is, and what his place in the world is supposed to be. This book is largely about Daniel's search for identity, so the simplicity of this title pushes us to notice that asking, "Who is Daniel?" is not necessarily an easy question to answer.