Dark Smiles
Race and Desire in George Eliot

By Alicia Carroll

Although George Eliot has long been described as “the novelist of the Midlands,” she often brought the outer reaches of the empire home in her work. Dark Smiles: Race and Desire in George Eliot studies Eliot's problematic, career-long interest in representing racial and ethnic Otherness.

Placing Eliot's diverse and wide–ranging treatment of Otherness in its contemporary context, Alicia Carroll argues that Eliot both engages and resists traditional racial and ethnic representations of Otherness. Carroll finds that Eliot, like other women writers of her time, often appropriates narratives of Otherness to explore issues silenced in mainstream Victorian culture, particularly the problem of the desirous woman. But if Otherness in Eliot's century was usually gendered as woman and constructed as the object of white male desire, Eliot often seeks to subvert that vision. Professor Carroll demonstrates Eliot's tendency to “exoticize” images of girlhood, vocation, and maternity in order to critique and explore gendered subjectivities. Indeed, the disruptive presence of a racial or ethnic outsider often fractures Eliot's narratives of community, creating a powerful critique of home culture.

The consistent reliance of Eliot's work upon racial and ethnic Otherness as a mode of cultural critique is explored here for the first time in its entirety.


Alicia Carroll is an assistant professor in the English department at Auburn University. Her work on Eliot has appeared in journals such as Novel and JEGP.

Order a print copy

Hardcover · $31.96 · Add to Cart

Retail price: $39.95 · Save 20% ($31.96)

Share    Facebook icon  Email icon

Requests

Desk Copy Examination Copy Review Copy

Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center

Downloads & Links

PDF

Related Subjects

Literary Studies · Victorian Studies · British Literature · Literary Criticism

Formats

Hardcover

978-0-8214-1441-5
Retail price: $39.95, S.
Release date: Feb. 2003
208 pages · 6 × 9 in.
Rights: World