Please wait while we process your payment
If you don't see it, please check your spam folder. Sometimes it can end up there.
Don’t have an account?
Create Your Account
Sign up for your FREE 7-day trial
Already have an account? Log in
Choose Your Plan
$4.99/month + tax
$24.99/year + tax
Save over 50% with a SparkNotes PLUS Annual Plan!
for a group?
Get Annual Plans at a discount when you buy 2 or more!
$18.74 /subscription + tax
Subtotal $37.48 + tax
on 2-49 accounts
on 50-99 accounts
Want 100 or more?
for a customized plan.
You'll be billed after your free trial ends.
7-Day Free Trial
Renews December 7, 2023
November 30, 2023
Discounts (applied to next billing)
This is not a valid promo code.
(one code per order)
Annual Plan - Group Discount
SparkNotes Plus subscription is $4.99/month or $24.99/year as selected above. The free trial period is the first 7 days of your subscription. TO CANCEL YOUR SUBSCRIPTION AND AVOID BEING CHARGED, YOU MUST CANCEL BEFORE THE END OF THE FREE TRIAL PERIOD. You may cancel your subscription on your Subscription and Billing page or contact Customer Support at email@example.com. Your subscription will continue automatically once the free trial period is over. Free trial is available to new customers only.
For the next 7 days, you'll have access to awesome PLUS stuff like AP English test prep, No Fear Shakespeare translations and audio, a note-taking tool, personalized dashboard, & much more!
You’ve successfully purchased a group discount. Your group members can use the joining link below to redeem their group membership. You'll also receive an email with the link.
Members will be prompted to log in or create an account to redeem their group membership.
Thanks for creating a SparkNotes account! Continue to start your free trial.
Your PLUS subscription has expired
See discount terms and conditions.
Motifs are recurring structures, contrasts, and literary devices that can help to develop and inform the text’s major themes.
Eliot’s description of the natural beauty of the English countryside, especially in scenes of great sadness or evil, expresses the idea that external and internal realities do not always correspond. For example, when Hetty wanders off toward Windsor to find Captain Donnithorne, the day is beautiful and the countryside is magnificent. The reader would think Hetty’s stunning looks combined with the sunny countryside backdrop would describe an equally joyful scene in the book. However, unbeknownst to the reader, Hetty suffers enormously under the weight of her plight. Although Hetty herself is beautiful, her appearance contrasts with her internal character, which is weak, selfish, and ugly. Unlike Dinah, who is beautiful both externally and internally, Hetty has no inner beauty. Eliot uses the contrast between internal and external beauty to encourage the reader to look beyond the surface of people and things to their deeper characteristics and meanings.
The dogs in the novel reflect the temperament of the characters with respect to helpless beings. Adam’s dog, Gyp, loves his master. He is happy and trusting and devoted to Adam. Gyp’s condition reflects Adam’s love of the helpless and his desire to help and care for those who depend on him. Mr. Massey’s dog is also healthy but cowers whenever Mr. Massey displays his split personality. As one who deeply cares for the helpless, Mr. Massey can be grouchy and crotchety even while he provides nourishment and assistance to those in need. Mr. Irwine has dogs, who are happy and contented. They laze around the hearth. As his relationship with his dogs suggests, Mr. Irwine is kind and gentle toward those who depend on him, but he is a little lazy and cares more for the comforts of his home.
The narrator in Adam Bede butts into the story to provide ironic and often sarcastic commentary on the characters and the reader’s impression of them. The narrator pokes fun at the reader, especially the imagined, haughty reader who has a low opinion of such simple characters as Adam and Mr. Irwine. Making fun of the reader has two effects. First, it feeds the idea that the nobility is frivolous and a bad judge of character. The narrator clearly approves of the characters, and the narrator calls into question the reader’s judgment by suggesting that the reader does not. Second, the satire keeps the narrative brisk and the tone light. The narrator pushes the heavy idea that readers should not judge others and that they should love their neighbors. To avoid becoming preachy, the narrator uses humor, and a big part of that humor is in the sarcasm.