This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

The Fall Of Silas Lapham Essay

1303 words - 6 pages

In William Dean Howells’ novel, The Rise of Silas Lapham Silas is a very greedy selfish person who does not care about anything except climbing the social ladder. He has false social aspirations and his lust for power help his business to flourish as he rips people off and steels people’s money. As Silas begins to get higher and higher on the social ladder he begins to realize that his dreams are empty and have no real value as he achieves them. His greed and selfishness then come back to haunt him causing him to feel pain over things that he had done and while trying to rectify his wrongs he goes too far and fails his business. Silas Lapham’s character shift from selfish greed to honest unselfishness caused the collapse of his business and the loss of his money.
In the beginning of The Rise of Silas Lapham the character of Silas is already very rich and very successful, but as you go deeper into the character there are problems that arise. After Lapham runs into Rogers, an old business associate whom he had forced out of the company, he tells his wife, “ I hadn’t anything to say to him…I supposed he was dead…[and] I should want you should recollect in the first place, Persis, that I never wanted a partner.” (46). Lapham has no regrets about what he did to Rogers, and it is this selfishness that caused his business to sky rocket. After the discussion with Rogers Mrs. Lapham tries to get Silas to admit his mistake when she says:
No; you had better face the truth, Silas. It was no chance at all. You crowded him out. A man that saved you! No, you had got greedy, Silas. You had made your paint your god, and you couldn’t bear to let anybody else share in its blessings. (47)
The greed of Silas Lapham led him to remove his partner in business who had saved him from going out of business by lending him money, because Silas knew that his business was going to go up exponentially and he did not want to share it with anyone else. Silas’s hunger for power and money cause him to not have any morals, betray the people closest to him, and not have a second thought about it. When Mrs. Lapham tries to get him to admit that he made a mistake pushing Rogers out of the company Lapham says, “Well, if I hadn’t got him out he’d ‘a’ ruined me sooner or later. So it’s an even thing, as far forth as that goes.” (47) The only thing that matters to Silas is climbing the social ladder and bringing his family to the top. This is shown through that fact that he screwed over the man that saved his business and yet “he’d ‘a’ ruined me sooner or later”. Silas doesn’t care about anyone but himself and even though this is a terrible way to live it causes his business to grow exponential getting him closer and closer to what he has always wanted.
Silas thinks that building his family a new house will help them rise in social status and it is in building this house that his shift in character originates. Silas’s character shift begins when he tells his wife about his...

Find Another Essay On the fall of silas lapham

The Response of the Community to Silas in Silas Marner

2634 words - 11 pages The Response of the Community to Silas in Silas Marner When Silas Marner arrived in Raveloe the villagers did not show a very hospitable welcome to him, they saw him as an outsider, 'an alien-looking man'. This was the normal reaction to new comers in Raveloe. It was a small village, 'where many of the old echoes lingered, undrowned by new voices'. The village based itself mainly around the church, which 'once showed

The Growth of George Eliot's Silas Marner

1997 words - 8 pages The Growth of Silas Marner        Silas Marner is introduced as a "pallid young man, with prominent, short-sighted brown eyes" who led a quiet life in the small country community, Lantern Yard. He is a skilled hand loom-weaver of "exemplary life and ardent faith"; His work, friends and faith have a huge part in his life, making him an open and honest person. Silas certainly possesses a flawed character, which we see quite clearly in his

"The Fotunes Of Silas Marner" By George Eliot

1801 words - 8 pages A Study into the Fortunes of Silas Marner.George Eliot wrote Silas Marner in 1861. It is set in a time before the Industrial Revolution, a world that our society is unaware of. It is in a time where cloth was made at home in a weaver's cottage, rather than in large factories of mass production. Silas is a cottage weaver.Silas Marner's fortunes throughout the book are many and varied. Although throughout the story he receives many setbacks and

The Importance of Duty in George Eliot's Silas Marner

3782 words - 15 pages The Importance of Duty in George Eliot's Silas Marner In George Eliot's novel, 'Silas Marner', there is much evidence to suggest that duty is important. In the novel 'Silas Marner', duty is presented through parenting and community. Duty means conducts that are due to others. Duties are various functions that we have to follow, and they are moral obligations to others. This is all true for this novel, but also it means

Fall of the Huron

664 words - 3 pages The Fall of the Huron How is it possible to have your closest ally contribute to the downfall of your own people? The two main reasons which led to the Huron defeat were their French allies and the Iroquois. The French gave the Wendat people many deadly diseases such as smallpox and measles. These deadly diseases killed more than half of the Huron population. The Wendat’s closest ally also didn’t give them permission to have guns

The Fall of Rome

634 words - 3 pages The Fall of Rome The actual date of the fall of the Roman Empire has been debated for several years. The gradual decay of what was once the greatest empire in history was inevitable and marked by many significant events throughout its course. There is a specific era in which the Roman Empire was most definitely gone for good: the fourth and fifth centuries. It was during this period of time that the empire split into two parts, was sacked by the

The Fall of Slavery

834 words - 4 pages In “The Fall of Slavery” John Harris uses optimism to express the magnitude and miracle of the abolishment of slavery. The poem describes slavery having fallen, leaving people of all ethnicities free and equal. The poem is written in a more colloquial fashion, with phrases such as “O’er” (26) scattered throughout the poem, but it creates a more sincere tone. When slavery is abolished festive celebration occurs. The poem focuses on a song sung by

The Fall of Innocence

841 words - 4 pages It’s one of the most famous stories to ever exist, the story of how two people changed what defines us as humans. It’s the story of Adam, Eve, a serpent, and the unbecoming of mankind, the Fall of Man. This iconic account has been the premise for many works over the centuries. Today, Lord of the Flies by William Golding is considered one of the most influential novels of our time, not only for its adventurous story of stranded boys on a lost

The Fall of Rome

885 words - 4 pages The Fall of RomeThe Roman Empire was without a doubt the most powerful governing body in the Mediterranean ever. Why did Rome fall?There was not any single cause to the fall of Rome. It was many things occurring in succession to each other.After the Punic wars with Carthage, Rome acquired many new lands that it did not have before. During peace times it was easy to govern these areas but during war times it proved difficult.The government had to

The Fall of Phaeton

736 words - 3 pages follows. One of Peter Paul Rubens most distinguished and discussed works is The Fall of Phaeton, an oil painting on canvas. Created between 1604 and 1605, and reworked in 1606 and 1608, the painting features Phaeton, Apollo’s son begging for his father to permit Phaeton to drive the chariot across the sky. The work is 38 3/4 inches by 51 5/8 inches across, which is a relatively large canvas for this period, seeing as how the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da

The Fall of Phaeton

961 words - 4 pages Renaissance art. Having been raised in Belgium, Peter Paul Rubens was familiar with Flemish Traditional art which was primarily landscape and portraiture, consisted of vivid detail with reserved composition. Peter Paul Ruben’s thorough understanding of Italian Renaissance art and Flemish Traditional art became very apparent in 1604-05 with the oil on canvas composition The Fall of Phaeton, . The Fall of Phaeton is about Helios, the Greek god that

Similar Essays

The Rise Of Silas Lapham Essay

1168 words - 5 pages In the Story “The Rise of Silas Lapham,” written by William Dean Howells, Silas’s desire to conform to the standards of society is the root of his company’s downfall but the rise of his understanding and morals. The society Silas is trying to feel accepted by is very judgmental and vain and do not care about others therefore making it very tough for the Laphams to be accepted or even feel somewhat normal where they are living. Persis is a

Character Manipulation In The Rise Of Silas Lapham

2081 words - 8 pages Character Manipulation in Howells' The Rise of Silas Lapham           Of all the characters who undergo change in The Rise of Silas Lapham, Lapham's change is the only one looked upon in a positive light by the narrator. William Dean Howells uses the corruption of other characters to promote Lapham's newfound morality and reinforce his ultimate triumph. Before Lapham's financial ruin, he is the only character with fault. Yet as his world

Comparing Immorality In The Rise Of Silas Lapham And The Octopus

2662 words - 11 pages Motivation of Immorality in The Rise of Silas Lapham and The Octopus       In both William Dean Howells' The Rise of Silas Lapham and The Octopus by Frank Norris, a character is faced with the moral issues involved with operating his business. Howells' character, Silas Lapham (The Colonel) and Norris' Magnus Derrick are both desirous to have a prominent position in their respective societies, but are in the precarious situation of having

The Portrayal Of Silas Marner Essay

2241 words - 9 pages In this essay I aim to discuss the portrayal of Silas Marner in chapters 1, 2 and 14 in the novel. The story of Silas Marner is about how things can change in time. It also supplies a certain message. George Elliot wrote the story in 1860. George Elliot was a female and her real name was Marian Evans. She changed her name because it was difficult for a woman’s book to be published. Her story deals with themes of greed, jealousy and envy