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Adam Bede, Dinah and Hetty


            The Transformation of the Sinner and The Saint.
             In George Eliot's Adam Bede, Eliot creates two characters Hetty Sorrel and Dinah Morris that are complete opposites. Throughout the novel Eliot paints a picture of Hetty as a vain, selfish, materialistic, evasive young woman, who causes a lot of pain in order to please herself. Dinah on the other hand is Godly, pious, moral, angelic and faultless. In the beginning, the reader despises the sinner Hetty, and adores the Saint Dinah, however as the novel progresses, Dinah's perfection becomes too much of a good thing, while her character remains the same, and she still has all of her Saintly attributes, the reader begins to feel that Dinah is not a person, but a personification of the perfect woman. As Hetty grows as a person as a result of her trials, she becomes less of a sinner, and while she does not move completely Sainthood, the reader, and Eliot see her, as more of a victim.
             At first Hetty appears to be a pretty, shy and sweet young woman, however Eliot quickly changes the reader's perceptions. By telling us what is going on inside Hetty's mind in Chapter 9 (appropriately entitled "Hetty's World"), Eliot allows the reader to ascertain Hetty's thoughts, past and present, on the matters of men and even her own attractiveness: "Hetty was quite used to the thought that people liked to look at her. She was not blind to the fact that young Luke Britton of Broxton came to Hayslope Church on purpose that he might see her- (141). Eliot describes Hetty's beauty as soft and "kittenish" and while both Dinah and Hetty appear to be beautiful, only Dinah is so. Hetty's beauty masks her vain, and selfish tendencies, while Dinah's physical beauty is a mirror image of her beautiful soul.
             Chapter 10 sharply contrasts the previous chapter, as we see Dinah's visit with Lisbeth, and the comfort that Dinah's presence offers. In Chapter 9 when Hetty was discussed, Eliot used words like "silly" and "dreamy" and interjected her own commentary about Hetty's foolishness.


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