Narrative Technique in Eliot's Adam Bede

The narrative techniques used by George Eliot in Adam Bede are called ironical narrative. In the same way the metaphoric narrative used by Eliot represents the reality of the society in the novels. Not only that George Eliot uses stream of consciousness, altering the scenes and comparing and contrasting.

Mary Ann Evans (George Eliot)

There are limited numbers of narrative techniques used by George Eliot's Adam Bede. Ironical, metaphorical, stream of consciousness, altering scenes and comparing and contrasting techniques are some of the most important used techniques of George Eliot's Adam Bede. Some of the certain numbers of above mentioned techniques are narrative techniques used by Eliot in her novel Adam Bede. She uses the technique of dramatizing the realities of class distinctions in mass gatherings and small groups.

She shows individuals defined by work relationship. She is careful to handle the nature of tone. When the moment of talking about the product and the process of human labor comes, she assumes a tone of respect and reverence. Next important technique she uses is the technique of altering scenes. Scenes in the novel alternate between the indoor and the outdoor. The alternating indoor and outdoor scene comprises.

The third far more important technique is the technique of developing characters by contrasts such as, Adam and Seth, Adam and Arthur, Dinah and Hetty, Dinah and the Reverend Irvine. Ironical technique is used to reveal weakness of character resulting from a lack of a sense of immediacy in them. Adam has been wrathful toward his derelict father just before finding him drowned. Adam is cheerfully hopeful about Hetty just before he sees her kissing Arthur.

Metaphoric technique George Eliot used in this novel is subtly related with the theme. The metaphor of the mirror is exploited by George Eliot. The story opens with the metaphor of a mirror reflecting reality. Hetty's mirror reflects not reality, but the fantasies that she spins as she admires her alluring face and neck. Similarly Arthur's mirror reflects his self- deluded fantasies. Dinah chooses to look not at a mirror but through a window. Dinah's prospect lies outward in community, not inward in fantasy driven isolation.

The final technique is the technique of assuming a narrative voice that ranges from objectivity to authorial asides to stream of consciousness description. Eliot renders both the novel's physical setting and its characters inner conflicts and motivations with care and insight. In depicting the unforeseen changes that disrupt the serene life of a rural community, Eliot highlights the interconnectedness of its inhabitants and heightens the readers' sympathy for their plight.

In this way, Eliot’s narrative techniques are inside some sort of limitations. Among them ironical, metaphorical, stream of consciousness, altering the scenes and comparing and contrasting are Eliot's narrative techniques.