Character of Arthur Donnithorne appears in the scene of the novel, we come to know that he is known as the “Young Squire” and “the captain” and is the heir to the state of Hayslope. Being very cultured, mannerful, attractive and refined, he always had a very high opinion of his own self. Above all, he has a warm-blooded and impressionable nature and that’s why he is always ready to confess his faults. Though he has many plus-points in his personality yet he lacks self-control.
Due to this, the very bad and negative point of his personality is that he cannot withstand temptation. On the one hand, he loves Hetty but on the other hand, he does not wish to marry her. After knowing the discovery of the fact that Adam is his rival in loving Hetty, he is greatly shocked.
As he knows the adverse condition of Hetty, he confesses and feels it as a great wrong which he had done to her but it had been too late to make an amendment for. He starts avoiding Hetty when he is beaten by Adam and decides to break the deep relations with her but it has become too late as the fruit of his illegitimate relations start getting shaped in Hetty’s womb. Here, at this time, he shows weakness and this very weakness leads Hetty’s life to a stage or point from where there is no way of returning back. .
As it is rightly said that a weak woman, indeed, is weaker than a weak man. Arthur who is a being an extraordinarily, superficial fellow, even is not moved by a shock of conscience. Though he repents in the end and makes a lot of extraordinary efforts to save Hetty from execution, even though his attitude does not impress us. Here we also see that Arthur does not seem to be a traditional villain.
As it is known that G. Eliot has a special art, of introducing psycho-analysis in her characters, so same she does or presents in Arthur’s character. She gives a graphic picture of the inner operations and workings of his complexity of mind who in spite of his efforts, yields to temptation and seduces an innocent girl and becomes the focus of the hatred of the readers.
It is the very plus point of his personality that he does not harm anybody willingly and has friendly relations with everybody. He is ready to make amendments for any harm he may accidently do. There is no doubt that he is a villain beyond the calculated concept of villainy. If he had been the conventionally wicked squire’s son setting out to seduce the village maiden, he could hardly have made a better start. Here G. Eliot seems to be making us understand Arthur’s right and true nature who gradually falls into the habits of deception, both of himself and of others. We, the readers become in the position to judge how easily an amiable character can deteriorate.
No one can doubt the sincerity of Arthur’s repentance as he drinks the bitter cup of repentance to the full and disappears from the scene. As there starts a chain of sufferings after his sins which is actually a punishment for his sins. As far as the reality is concerned, Arthur is morally, a weak character and his weakness violates the codes and principles of morality and for this he deserves for punishment.
As we know that he is a character of weak moral fibre. who easily yields to temptation whịch results in the tragedy that ultimately wrecks poor Hetty’s life as well as his own one. Actually he knew from the very beginning of his relation with Hetty that he could never marry Hetty, still he flirted with her and had sexual relations with her. She got pregnant and her problem started. Here we understand that Arthur’s responsibility is much greater for the tragedy of poor Hetty.
On the other hand, there is no doubt that Hetty herself is equally responsible for her tragedy because she was allured and fascinated by her worldly dreams of luxuries but Arthur was superior to her both in years and worldly experience. He should not have so advanced to leave her pregnant in the result of his so-called love that was actually an endless lust.
Actually Hetty becomes a puppet in his hands who could easily be misled by him. So, he spoiled an innocent flower and consequently he had to suffer from deep spiritual anguish and torture. His life is also absolutely destroyed and he becomes miserable, wretched and repentant. He tries his best to do the best and amends but he fails to save Hetty from transportation and he is also unable to cure the wounds that he has inflicted on himself, on Adam, on the Poysers and on all those who are related with the tragic tale of poor Hetty.
As we see that at the end, Adam is a totally changed entity and he leaves Hayslope for ever by admitting to Adam that he was wrong from the very beginning. In addition to this, he also says that he would give his life if he could undo it.
To sum up this above mentioned discussion, it can be concluded now that Arthur is one of the most integral and essential characters of the novel. Here George Eliot has used her best technique by using this character to express her psychological characterization. There is no doubt in the fact that Arthur becomes the core of the novel because if he had not been the fucker of Hetty then all the story would not have been possible to be integrated in such an impressive way.