The Portrayal of the Community in Raveloe in Silas Marner by George Eliot
Silas Marner by George Eliot was first published in 1861 during the
industrial revolution. The industrial revolution, as the
transformation came to be called, caused a sustained rise in real
income per person in England and, as its effects spread, the rest of
the Western world. Historians agree that the industrial revolution was
one of the most important events in history, marking the rapid
transition to the modern age, but they disagree vehemently about
various aspects of the event. The Industrial Revolution reshaped the
urban environment, not least by concentrating workers in the new
industrial towns and suburbs linked and supplied by railways. The
industrial revolution meant the poor could find jobs especially in big
cities such as London and Manchester. It also took trade from small
companies or people.
The picture of Gin Lane shows the distress of working in the
industrialized towns and cities. The picture emphasizes the massive
difference between town and country life and how many people where
unhappy working and living in this environment.
The village hierarchy was based upon distinct social roles and
responsibilities. Dunsey was known throughout the village to be a good
man who never did anything wrong, although some of the village folk
did have there doubts. This was the general presumption among the
village folk because of his social role. Yet the Dunsey did do things
wrong but was not at all suspected by the village folk of stealing
Silas's money because of his position as the Squire Casses son. Dunsey
thought because he had all the money in the world he could do anything
he wanted, but yet he could not find happiness or love, apart from the
love of drinking.
The village of Raveloe was still a very quaint setting at the start of
the book; nobody needed to work to hard to make a comfortable living.
But, by the end of the book the effects of the industrialization was
starting to show. Silas found himself with little work and the village
life that the reader was familiar with was rapidly disappearing.
Raveloe is described by Eliot as a village that lies " in the central
rich plain that we are pleased to called merry England." The village
exists in a timeless past where traditions have been unchanged for
centuries and the people in Raveloe still have a strong sense of
community where every knows each other and cares for each other which
is very different from nowadays.
Eliot read and admired Wordsworth's work throughout her life.
Wordsworth was a poet who wrote about the connection between man and
nature, Eliot found herself in agreement with many of his ideas.
Wordsworth believed that village life had much to teach the new city
dwellers. He also believed that children where the most...