Relationships are the lifeblood of Eliot’s novels. They are an essential part of her method of developing character, and it will have become evident in the last chapter that discussion of character and characterisation inevitably strays into the domain of relationships. Through recognition of the expectations of others, and through acceptance or avoidance of responsibilities to others, her characters define themselves. Furthermore, the behaviour of characters involved in relationships allows Eliot to organise and develop the moral problems and moral choices over which her novels work; these will be the subject of later chapters.
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