George Eliot's Silas Marner Essay

2621 words - 10 pages

George Eliot's ‘Silas Marner’

The novel, ‘Silas Marner,’ is considered to be a moral fable. The
author, George Eliot placed parental responsibility as one of the
book’s main themes. She writes of two different parenting styles,
along with the happiness and responsibilities that come with this
through two characters, Silas Marner and Godfrey Cass.

At the beginning of the narrative the character, Silas Marner, is a
completely different person from the one he was later to become. The
book starts by explaining how Silas Marner left his original home-
‘Marner had departed from the town,’ because of a false accusation
that his best friend had made about him. The church deacon was
extremely ill, and whilst looking after him Silas was accused of
stealing the church’s money. The religious sect that he belonged to,
a strict Calvinistic sect, drew lots to decide whether Silas was
innocent or guilty. ‘The lots declared that Silas Marner was guilty.’
The lots where superstitious and one of the supertitions was that they
believed that their results where God’s will.

Marner is over come by a sense of betrayal, as it was his best friend
who has committed such a cruel, untrustworthy deed, Marner looses all
his faith in God. Marner leaves ‘Lantern Yard’ and moves to a small
place named, ‘Raveloe.’ This new place is a completely new environment
for Marner; it was as if he had travelled abroad in comparison to our
day and age, we can tell this because in the text it states, ‘ he left
his own country and people and came to settle in Ravaloe.’ Sadly
Marner looses all his trust in people, he moves into a cottage in the
forest, isolating himself from human contact. He works his loom
producing linen, when he sells this linen he comes into contact with
others, this being the only time.

Silas Marner was a skilled handloom linen-weaver, of simple life who
had come to live in the village of Raveloe. The sound of his loom was
very different from anything the villagers were used to and the
village boys would stare in at his window until he chased them away:

‘Silas´s Loom, so unlike the natural cheerful trotting of the
winnowing-machine, or the simpler rhythm of the flail, had a
half-fearful fascination for the Raveloe boys, who would often
leave their nutting or bird´s- nesting to peep in at the window
of the stone cottage, counter balancing a certain awe at the
mysterious action of the loom, by a pleasant sense of scornful
superiority, drawn from the mockery of its alternating noises,
along with the bent, thread-mill attitude of the weaver´

The boys of the village were afraid that Silas had an 'evil eye´ and
that he could harm them by just looking at them. There was a belief
that he had some sort of connection with the devil because of his
healing powers. When Silas came to Raveloe he did not make any new
friends preferring to keep himself busy by just doing his work. The
reason for this was because in Lantern Yard he...

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