George Eliot, Poetess
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Om George Eliot
The position of George Eliots poetry within Victorian poetry and within her own canon is crucial for an accurate picture of the writer, as Wendy S. Williams shows in her in-depth examination of Eliots poetry and her role as poetess. Williams argues that even more clearly than her fiction, Eliots poetry reveals the development of her belief in sympathy as a replacement for orthodox religious views. With knowledge of the Bible and a firm understanding of societys expectations for female authorship, Eliot consciously participated in a tradition of women poets who relied on feminine piety and poetry to help refine society through compassion and fellow-feeling. Williams examines Eliots poetry in relationship to her gender and sexual politics and her shifting religious beliefs, showing that Eliots views on gender and religion informed her adoption of the poetess persona. By taking into account Eliots poetess treatment of community and motherhood, Williams suggests, readers come to view her not only as a writer of fiction, an intellectual, and a social commentator, but also as a woman who longed to nurture, participate in, and foster human relationships.