74 pages 2 hours read

George Eliot

Daniel Deronda

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 1876

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Symbols & Motifs


The events of Daniel Deronda largely take place in the vast country estates of the English elite. Men such as Grandcourt and Sir Hugo own these properties, which symbolize their wealth and status. The working class is relegated to the peripheries of society, as well as those of the novel, illustrating the extent to which Victorian England is defined by the relation between social classes. Each country estate is a symbol of an unequal social order that privileges one group of people over another, largely due to the circumstances of their birth. These houses are inherited and passed down in a system that perpetuates economic inequality; the working class could never dream of owning such properties.

Most characters value their estates for concrete reasons such as property value or the quality of the local hunting. For some characters, however, properties have a sentimental value. Sir Hugo is a wealthy man, though not as rich as Grandcourt. He wants to move his family to Diplow as this particular property has an immense sentimental value for him: He grew up in Diplow and he would like his family to do the same. Unfortunately for Sir Hugo, the property technically belongs to Grandcourt. Sir Hugo knows that Grandcourt is indifferent to Diplow but he also knows that Grandcourt would hold on to it simply to spite Sir Hugo.