This describes pretty Hetty utterly unprepared, and incapable of becoming prepared, for mature, meaningful relationships.¬† It’s also an early intimation of the compassion and succour Dinah will later bring her.

‘Like a child hugging its toys in the beginning of a long toilsome journey, in which it will have to bear hunger and cold and unsheltered darkness.’

Source: George Eliot, Adam Bede (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1985 (1859)), p. 203

Photo credit: Greyerbaby at


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