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Dorothea Brooke An Independent Woman Dorothea is going to be marrying again you know said Mr Brooke nodding towards Celia who immediately looked up at her husband with a frightened glance Merciful heaven said Mrs Cadwallader Not to young Ladislaw Mr Brooke nodded saying Yes to Ladislaw --George Eliot Middlemarch Ch 84 p 745Dorothea Brookes marriage to Will Ladislaw seems out of character for her independent intellectual personality George Eliot describes Dorothea as a latter-day Saint Theresa characterized by ardor energy and intelligence she comments that Dorothea has an inward fire a burning passion to improve the world She yearns to break free from the conventional housewife-role and contribute to Middlemarch However when Dorothea marries Mr Causubon he stifles her abilities and causes her to comment that Marriage isawful 729 Their relationship shows her that Marriage is a noose whose conditions demand self-suppression and tolerance 689 When Causubon dies Dorothea finally regains her original independence According to her personality the reader expects Dorothea to relish in this freedom and use this time productively to fulfill all sorts of plans 501 However this strong heroine with lofty goals commits a non-Dorothea-like act when she chooses to marry her second husband Will Ladislaw This choice encourages the reader to question If Dorothea is truly smart why would she not have learned from her mistake of marrying Causubon Shouldnt she realize that she needs to remain independent to fulfill her lifelong goals Does this choice not seem antithetical to the clever character that Eliot had so carefully crafted throughout Middlemarch Clearly Dorotheas desire to re-marry shows a break in her normal character as critic Edith Simcox comments Except in the chapter of her marriages Dorothea is a perfect woman Haight 76 Sir James Chettam furthers this notion by commenting that a second marriage would be a sort of desecration for her 501 Dorotheas choice leaves a woman with extraordinary promise to an ordinary end
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