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"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 blows to his confidence, he seems to build on these and turn them to his advantage. His first major set back sets the scene for the rest of the book.Silas' first misfortune occurs in his hometown of Lantern Yard. Here he is asked to keep vigil over the ...view middle of the document...

Silas is, however, seen and as Jem, one of the locals, finds him and tries to wake him up, he drops a considerable amount of money to the floor. This fit makes the people wary of Silas, because they are only simple 17th Century village folk and are unaware of epilepsy, they believe that he is experiencing 'visitations'. Jem, then, recounts the tale down at the local inn, where it is overheard by Dunstan Cass, the Squire's younger son. Silas then becomes victim to the unfortunate state of Dunstan's debts. Dunstan becomes involved in an accident that injures his horse and causes him to go and seek help. He goes in search of Silas and, finding him out, but remembering his reputed financial position, decides to take a look into Silas' cottage. Silas has at this time left his home to purchase some more loom cord to tie up one of the shafts of the loom. As Dunstan is the Squire's son, and a 17th Century Squire would be the most important person in the community, he considers it well within his rights to enter Silas' home, since the Squire is the owner of the property. This is Silas' second misfortune, as if he had been home or had locked his door, Dunstan would have been unable to enter and would not have been able to steal Silas' money. But in his absence, Dunstan sets about searching for Silas' hidden fortune. '... He lifted two bricks and saw what he had no doubt was the object of his search.' Once Dunstan finds Silas' money, 'he stepped out into the darkness' to disappear along with all of Silas' money.Silas' timing is such, that he goes out and returns giving Dunstan time to steal his money and for Silas to be none the wiser, seeing nothing of the robbery. Silas usually counts his money after supper as it is his time of revelry when 'his heart warm(s) over his gold...' He only realises that something is wrong when he goes to count his money after supper and finds the hiding place empty. Even then in the state of shock that hits him, 'the belief that his gold was gone could not come at once.' When Silas finally realises that 'his gold was not there...' he lets out a 'cry of desolation.' This, in my view, is more of a blessing in disguise as it leads to the removal of his inanimate master to which, unbeknown to him, he has become enslaved. His mind, as his lack of faith in man has not healed, immediately leads to him to thinking of a thief. This robbery only confirms Silas' belief that he is no longer part of the human race and that man can never be trusted. After Silas cools down and tells someone of his loss he loses his willpower, and so many of the gaps he has opened up between the village and himself. He no longer acts like a man with other things on his mind, he now acts like one who is thoroughly withered and exhausted, '...when he did come to the door he showed no impatience, as he once would have done, at a visit that had been unasked for and unexpected.' These barriers begin to heal, as he can no longer manage to keep them apart. For...

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