Psychological Compassion as Portrayed in Dorothea in Eliot’s Middlemarch and Louisa in Dickens’ Hard Times
Keywords:compassion, Hard Times, Middlemarch, psychology, Victorian era
This article has a cogent argument to investigate the similarities and differences between Eliot and Dickens’ techniques in revealing the insight natural expressions of compassion by analyzing the heroines’ characteristics portrayed in the common theme of their selected novels. This article adopts the Seven-Stage Model of Maslow’s (1970) Motivation Theory to analyze Dorothea in Eliot’s Middlemarch and Louisa in Dickens’ Hard Times. According to Maslow, individuals should satisfy the models’ conceptual expressions completely to reach an ultimate level, which is self-actualization needs. In this regard, Maslow maintained that those who have reached the pyramid’s peak are capable of love. The findings of this study indicate that Eliot shines by enhancing many prominent feminine touches, emotional and aesthetic concepts, and passionate experiences in her heroines’ personalities much more than Dickens who ignores them. For instance, Dorothea in Eliot’s Middlemarch satisfies all the conceptual expressions of the model’s self-actualization needs perfectly, while Louisa in Dickens’ Hard Times has many problems, particularly in getting love, esteem, as well as cognitive, aesthetic, and self-actualization needs. So, Eliot’s excellence suggests a powerful contribution by refuting and criticizing the Victorian masculine stereotypical mottos that women could not express more than half of life and they could not feel a passion.
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