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 summits of its social life'.
Silas however was not a religious man, 'he invited no comer to step
across his door-sill and he never strolled into the village'. From the
way Silas had been betrayed in his old town, Lantern Yard, he tried to
keep as far away from people as possible. As he had nothing to do with
his days, his life slowly progressed into an obsession with work.
Silas was a weaver and 'he worked far on into the night', to finish
what he had to, for the following day. He was working so much; he
gained a lot of money. 'Silas was paid in Gold' and 'how the guineas
shone as they came out of the dark leather pouch'. Silas' life soon
began to revolve around money, so he made no effort to make friends,
as he felt no need for them. In effect, money had replaced the friends
he once had. It seemed that Silas felt safe with money, but with
people he was afraid and vulnerable of them being untrustworthy.

Status was seen as important in Raveloe, 'the greatest man in Raveloe
was Squire Cass'. He was 'used to the presupposition that his
family…were the oldest and the best'. However, as important as the
Squire was in Raveloe, he would be nothing in a larger town or city,
where there were higher-class people, but in Raveloe, 'his opinion was
not disturbed by comparison'. The Squire lived 'in the large red
house'. It had a 'handsome flight of stone steps' and was 'opposite
the Church'. The Squire had two sons, Godfrey and Dunstan (Dunsey.)
Both of them lived luxurious lives, but both also had their secrets.
The villagers respected Godfrey; he was 'a fine open-faced,
good-natured young man', who tried to convince everybody he was
perfect. Dunstan, on the other hand, was quite the opposite. He was
known to 'like his drink' and not to be as respectable as Godfrey. The
villagers thought that, Godfrey was a single man, but in actual fact,
he was married to a drunk and a drug addict of very low class, Molly
Farrren. Dunstan 'saw his brothers degrading marriage the means of
gratifying at once his jealous hate and his cupidity'. Dunstan knew
about Molly Farren all along. He encouraged Godfrey to marry her and
Dunstan often used this 'secret' of Godfrey's to blackmail him. As
much as Dunstan threatened Godfrey he never told anyone about Molly
Farren or his child, 'I could tell the Squire…but, you see…I do not do

The Osgood family were also of high status in the...

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