This thesis is a linguistic study of the narrator's voice in George Eliot's writings of the Victorian period in Britain. George Eliot thought of herself as a teacher. She was moralistic and philosophical. In recent years there has been a shift of emphasis in criticism of Eliot's work to a greater appreciation and study of the importance of the philosophical ideas and concepts of the day on her writings, primarily the novels.
Four aspects of her narrator's voice are identified--empiricism, idealism, determinism and the religion of humanity--each of which forms a chapter. The discussion of the construction of her speaking subject forms the fifth chapter. The topic of each chapter is defined and aspects of linguistic analysis employed to establish specific linguistic features that correlate with these philosophical stances in her writings. All the genre of her work are included in this study. I have chosen examples from her letters, journal articles, essays and two novels, Adam Bede her first full-length novel and Daniel Deronda her last.
My hope is that in some small way this thesis will contribute to an understanding of George Eliot's speaking subject or narrator's voice.