Determinism in Eliot's Adam Bede

Determinism is a kind of belief that people are not free to choose what they are like or how they behave, because these things are decided by their surroundings and other things over which they have no control.

Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot)

If we apply this very concept over the position of Hetty, captain Donnithrone, Seth, Adam and Dinah determinism have worked extremely in their position. No any characters are free to choose his or her position because everyone has become the victim of his/ her situations and surroundings.

For example the very first character Hetty can be clearly analyzed from the perspective of determinism. Hetty at first desires to marry the captain. She visits captain Donnithrone, they both take an advance step and Hetty physically surrenders her to the captain. Unfortunately, they are seen by Adam while in the woods. Because of Adam and the situation of the captain to join the service, he goes from there leaving Hetty alone. Adam has already started liking her and keeps the proposal of marriage with Hetty. Though at first she couldn't accept the marriage proposal of Adam, later she also falls in love with Adam. They decide to marry each other. But the situation takes another turn when Hetty gives birth to a child, fathered by Donnithrone. She is compelled to kill her child and is sent to jail for child murder. At last, she marries to Donnithrone. Here Hetty's position has determined by the situation and surroundings.

Another example of determinism can be seen in Adam's position too. Adam at first is liked by Hetty, falls in love with her. He decides to marry, but when the date is postponed Hetty becomes far from him. At last he is loved by Dinah and marries with her. Here also Adam's position is also not as it has been pre- determined rather it also depends upon the surrounding and circumstance. So in Adam's role also circumstance plays a vital role.

In the same way in the case of Dinah, being a preacher she is not supposed to have marriage and so on. Seth keeps the proposal to love to her. She falls in love with Seth but due to her position she cannot accept his marriage proposal. But when she is drowned completely in Adam at last she gets married to him. So Dinah's position is also highly affected with determinism in the novel.

In the same way, if we see the position of Seth, he likes Dinah at the beginning. He falls in love with Dinah. She also accepts to the predetermined concept and plan. But by showing her position of preacher she couldn’t accept the marriage proposal of Seth.

So, all events are determined in the entire novel being based on the surroundings and situations. Nothing has flown according to the predetermined concept and plan. So, the novel Adam Bede moves around the concept of determinism or determinism works in every character's role and position throughout the entire development of events in the novel.