Gradual maturity of Character Of Adam Bede in the novel of “Adam Bede” is remarkable in story. When we discuss and analyse most of the novels of George Eliot in detail, we come to know the fact that it is her power of characterization which makes any character life-like and real. For example, when we have a deep analysis, of her famous tragic novel “A Mill on the Floss” in which we come across Mary Evans in the character of Maggie, same like matter is here; when we read or discuss this novel, we also meet a very towering and overwhelming personality that is the father of Maggie in “A Mill on the Floss” named as Robert Evans.
Being the central character of the novel, we observe that all the minor and major other characters are linked with him. There is no exaggeration in saying this that the story of the novel has been written from his point of view and character. As far as the matter of fact is concerned, he is the close-pen portrait of the novelist’s own father; Robert Evans; because there had been observed the many resemblances between these two characters.
He is being a carpenter by profession, leads a very simple and humble life with his parents and a brother Seth Bede. Adam Bede is a man of supreme & dignified qualities and has a very unique and towering personality. He is always sincere, honest and good humoured, not only to himself but to others in his treatment and conduct. His honesty and integrity are always free from any doubt and suspicion. Because of these qualities, he is always the target of Mr. Bury who, being his proprietor, wants to see him as his son-in-law.
As he is an integral person and his egoism does not permit him to be a toy in the hands of his relative in laws. It is his self-respect which promptly rejects the heavy offer in spite of the temptation of being the business partner of Mr. Bury. Mr. Bury who without any condition, promptly makes him his partner after judging and analysing his strong character and dedicated personality. It is one of the traits of his character that he always takes his profession as a hobby. The reason being, he is a dutiful man who always feels a huge pleasure and satisfaction in his work.
He is God fearing person and honest and knows well that God’s all-seeing eye sees. He is a man of splendid moral courage and always thinks that whatever he does, should be well-done and should all be done in time. On the basis of these qualities, Arthur makes him the manager of the woods and Poysers feel that Hetty cannot do better than marrying Adam. Even they start feeling honoured and respected when he courts her and is engaged or betrothed to her.
His outlook is very broad and he is of the view that every person should seek God according to his own philosophy. When Seth is mocked at the time of being Methodist, he minds it and forbids the workers because he always considers the work as a part of his religion and he worships his duty. He is always a fair dealer with others and with their concerns and works and expects others to be fair too.
If he has a weak point in his character and that is only his love for Hetty. It is his passionate love which makes him blind to Hetty’s true nature.
That’s why he overlooks her weaknesses and faults in her love. Hetty is being loved by two persons at the same time; one is poor. Adam and the other are rich — expected to be Squire Arthur. She rejects the poor Adam and prefers the other. Even then she is ready to marry Adam after a quarrel between the two lovers. Adam forgets all this and is happy but when he comes to know about the illegitimate pregnancy of Hetty from Irwine that it was the result or fruit of her unfair relations with Arthur who was a rival of him; though, here he got upset but on the basis of humanity, even then Adam stood by Hetty in her trial and bore great pains. During the trial, Adam and Dinah got closed and this closing relation turned into love.
Here we see that though his love for Hetty is wholehearted one yet he transfers his love to Dinah and this very love gives him a new strength.
As far as the other side of his character is concerned, it is about his sense of righteousness and vanity that he has clarity of vision and can easily judge and see everything vividly and dearly while others cannot see it, is actually a basic flaw in his character, but we see that the course of the novel shows the gradual purgation of his flaw in the character.
He gets this purgation after facing the number of sufferings. It is his self-righteousness which is responsible for his bad relations to his father, mother, Arthur and even to Hetty. But we see the gesture of reconciliation between Adam and Arthur as proof that new Adam has recovered his fault.
After getting married to Dinah, he becomes or seems to be a more polished man than before. Gradually, he shuns off his pride in his own righteousness and attains a more apt and genuine but complex understanding of life. Step by step, he attains the virtue of humanity and finally becomes conscious of his own short-comings and in this way he becomes able to differentiate between the positive and negative side of life.Here we also observe that the novelist presents him in a process of education which can be clearly seen in his relations to the guilt of Hetty.
Though a change comes slowly in the strange character of Adam yet it does come. It is the influence of Adam‘s love and marriage with Dinah that he becomes absolutely a complete man and a fully integrated personality. There is no doubt that the power of love reforms all his faults and he becomes a new man after his marriage.
Some critics are of the view that there is a balance between Adam’s head and heart and some other coming critics express their opinion in the words that he is too good to be true. It is said that he is a perfect human being but the truth is different one.
To conclude this topic, we can say clearly and absolutely that in the beginning, he is not a perfect man but gradually he is totally changed through a process of love and suffering. Here George Eliot presents fantastically her technicality in characterization. It is the power of love which leads him to the fulfillment of his personality and the process of his growth and maturity is completed which makes his head and heart fully integrated.