Technology advances with time. Though, technological advancement is needed to move a civilization forward, it also has its downsides. With more products and services available, it is impossible to live a life of relaxation as people once did long before. In George Eliot’s “Adam Bede,” one can see the difference in the purity of “old leisure” and the corruption of modern leisure through Eliot’s use of diction, imagery, and personification.
The words that George Eliot utilizes in Adam Bede, demonstrates the differences between “old leisure” and modern relaxation. She uses the word “gone,” to refer to modern leisure, proving Eliot believes that leisure during her own time is lost. Therefore, this indicates that she is making a distinction between old and modern day leisure by depicting present day relaxation as fraudulent. Similarly, George Bede refers to the word “eager,” to further prove her point on modern leisure.
Through this word she illustrates that even when people in her time are trying to relax, they cannot because they are forever “…eager for amusement. ” However, George Eliot describes “old leisure” as “contemplative,” and “stout. ” This demonstrates that “old leisure,” does not have many worries and is not plagued with being “eager,” because it does not have the problems that modern day technology brings. Thereby, “old leisure,” is proven to be real leisure, while modern relaxation is depicted as being a corrupt version of it.
Through her choice of words, George Eliot clearly shows her thoughts on old and modern leisure. George Eliot’s use of imagery, depicts the differences between old and present day relaxation. She says that true leisure is “…gone where the spinning wheels are gone…and the slow wagons…” This proves that leisure is pure when things remain simple and not complex, as modern day creations have made things. Also, when talking about steam engines, she believes that they will “only create a vacuum for eager thought to rush in.
This statement illustrates her point that with every new technological advancement, leisure will become less and less. Additionally, George Eliot depicts “old leisure” as “…living chiefly, in the country,…and [is] fond of sauntering by the fruit-tree wall,” which ultimately proves that past leisure is plain, liking “things themselves,” rather then having to know the cause for them. Through the use of imagery, George Eliot proves the purity of old leisure and the corruption of modern day leisure.