Study Questions & Essay Topics
1. Why does Eliot title her novel Adam Bede? What is the book really about?
2. Eliot claimed that the scene of Hetty’s conversion of the jail was the point toward which the whole novel was driving. Do you agree?
3. Why is Adam so blind to Hetty’s true nature?
Suggested Essay Topics
1. How is the role of women in society portrayed in the novel? What significance, if any, do you think it has on the novel that George Eliot is a woman who took on a male pseudonym?
2. Why is it important that Dinah Morris and Seth Bede are Methodists? Is Adam Bede a religious novel?
3. Is Captain Donnithorne responsible for Hetty’s plight? Is he a bad man?
4. Why is Dinah the only person able to get through to Hetty while she is in jail?
5. Why is Adam so devastated by Hetty’s crime and incarceration? What does the reaction of the different characters to the news about Hetty say about them?
Readers' Notes allow users to add their own analysis and insights to our SparkNotes—and to discuss those ideas with one another. Have a novel take or think we left something out? Add a Readers' Note!