SparkNotes: Silas Marner: Study Questions & Essay Topics
The story of a crabby old miser who raises an orphan with honest-to-goodness dimples and "auburn hair" with "little ringlets" (2.16.4), George Eliot's Silas Marner (1861) starts off by laying on the tragedy. Young Silas is betrayed, exiled, isolated, and then robbed. A baby is born to an opium-addled mom and a deadbeat dad and then abandoned at the side of the road. But by the last page, everyone's living happily together in a quaint little cottage with a quaint little garden in a quaint little village full of quaint local characters. It even ends with a wedding. Broadway, are you listening?
Silas marner essays Aleeza October 26, 2016
Silas Marner focuses on 19th century England as a time of transition: political power moved from a dominant landowner class to a dominant bourgeous class, agrarian economies were replaced by urban industrialization, and Christianity became increasingly diluted and secular. All of these transitions were largely complete by the end of the century, yet many like George Eliot recognized that much was being lost. The fact that Silas must leave the city and the growing fanaticism of religious frenzy and physically return to a rural, older way of life to maintain his humanity indicates that the pace of transition, and the modes of transition, were extremely harmful for many. However, the fact that Silas is permanently deformed foretells that industrialization would be an increasingly deforming fact of life.
Great supplemental information for school essays and projects.Silas Marner Theme of Wealth - ShmoopStruggling with themes such as Wealth in George Eliot’s Silas Marner?
SparkNotes: Silas Marner: Character List
“Silas Marner is not unworthy of the reputation already acquired...” In the following review titled the “Athenaeum” the critic principally evaluates the characterization and setting in the novel Silas Marner....
A list of all the characters in Silas Marner
The most prominent structural feature of the novel is its dual story line. Silas' story, his loss of humanity and faith and his gradual recovery, is kept entirely separate from the relating of Godfrey Cass' story, i. e. his secret marriage, second marriage, etc., until the climax of the novel when Eppie must choose between the father who reared her and her biological father. Not only do the dual story lines structurally mirror class divisions, but Eppie's choice between Silas Marner and Godfrey Cass at the conclusion symbolizes a moral choice between the values purveyed by each.Another formal device to stir sympathy for the peasantry is the fact that the gentry are not even introduced until well into the story, leading the reader to identify with Silas and those of his own class first. In addition, the working class/peasantry, the title character of Marner being the most prominent, are portrayed in a favorable light, whereas the landed gentry are unanimously cast unsympathetically. Squire Cass is shown to be typical of his class in his «extravagant habits and bad husbandry» (pg. 71), and his only comment on public affairs is that he hopes the war with France (the Napoleonic Wars) continues because he is making money due to the resultant high prices (pg. 121), indicating his concern with profits rather than with his fighting countrymen. One of his sons, Dunstan, is characterized as having a «...taste for swopping and betting» (pg. 72), as well as being unusually cruel. Of course, Dunstan is the son who steals Silas' money for gambling purposes, and though Godfrey is said to be the most upright of the Squire's sons, he is tellingly summed-up in the statement, «His natural irresolution and moral cowardice were exaggerated by a position in which dreaded consequences seemed to press equally on all sides...» (pg. 77).
Silas Marner , Literary Analysis Essay - 1174 Words
The picture that emerges of this leading family of the community is one of laziness, waste, and moral bankruptcy. It is also significant that the does not allow these characters to go unpunished. Dunstan drowns in the swamp immediately following his theft, and Godfrey pays the price of childlessness in his marriage for refusing to acknowledge Eppie as his daughter. In contrast, the portrayal of the working class is extremely sympathetic. Silas is portrayed as a quiet, unassuming man with a «loving nature» (pg. 61), and the other prominent villagers, like Dolly Winthrop and Mr. Macey, are highlighted by the charity and fellowship they extend to Silas and Eppie, and to others of the community in need. Because Silas chooses to adopt Eppie, when her own father, Godfrey, does not, Silas is rewarded by love and community support, and the recovery of his gold. Eppie's final choice to stay with Silas and marry someone of her own class is the final, ironical statement of the greater morality of the working class and is a simultaneous rejection of the bourgeous passion to rise socially. In her treatment of class in this novel, George Eliot decisively refutes the assumption that morality is related in any way to class, whether in the form of the common and long-held belief that «noble» blood meant noble character or expressed in the attempts of some to use Darwin's recently published theories in a social context to justify class distinctions. This novel makes clear that the only distinctions between classes are economic and there is no moral justification for such divisions.