What George Eliot teaches us about growing up

In the Feb. 14 & 21 issue of The New Yorker, Rebecca Mead writes,

The book [George Eliot’s Middlemarch] that Virginia Woolf characterized as ‘one of the few English novels for grown-up people’ is also a book about how to be a grownup person–about how to bear one’s share of sorrow, failure, and loss, as well as enjoy moments of hard-won happiness. (81)

Grownups, Mead suggests, learn how to bear suffering and cherish happiness as well as when to bear and be happy. The first is a style of life, the second an art of judgment. Both will be necessary if we wish to make life something worth leading.