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The Relationship Between Parents And Their Children In Silas Marner By George Eliot

2467 words - 10 pages

The Relationship Between Parents and Their Children in Silas Marner by George Eliot "A child more than all other gifts

That Earth can offer to a declining man

Brings hope with it and forward looking thoughts." William Wordsworth

The novel Silas Marner was written by George Eliot in 1863. George
Eliot's real name was Mary Ann Evans and she was farced to change it
because of the role of women at that time. If the book were published
under a female name it would be ridiculed and would not sell. This is
perhaps one of the reasons she is so critical of society.

George Eliot used William Wordsworth's quote on the title page of her
novel. Throughout the story of Silas Marner, she explores the nature
of the relationship between parents and children through many of the
characters, for example Silas and Eppie, or Godfrey and his father,
the Squire.

When Silas is banished from Lantern Yard for a deed committed by his
closest friend, he keeps himself at a distance from the villagers of
Raveloe, where he now lives almost like a hermit. He saves every penny
from his weaving and builds up a fine stack of coins, which he admires
and loves more than anything else. One day, he finds it gone, having
been stolen by Godfrey Cass's villainous brother, Dunstan. Meanwhile,
in the Red House, the house of the Squire of the village, Godfrey and
his brother have an argument about money. Dunstan Cass knows of
Godfrey's secret wife and child, and is blackmailing him. Godfrey has
been secretly married to Molly Farran, who has had his child but has
gone downhill as she becomes increasingly addicted to opium. Molly
decides to take the child to Godfrey and demand shelter and money but
dies on the way to let the tiny child wander into the warmth of Silas
Marner's cottage. Silas takes the child and looks after it, nursing it
and returning to his old self, before he was banned from Lantern Yard.
Godfrey marries Nancy Lammeter but fails to have children with her. He
goes to claim Eppie but Eppie decides to stay with Silas, so
concluding the fairytale with happiness for the "goodies" and death
and misery for the "baddies" when Dunstan Cass is found at the bottom
of a lake with Silas' money.

Some of the Victorian values that would have influenced George Eliot
are the traditional family values and the role of women in families
and society. Women were expected to stay at home and look after the
family. They were not expected to work or do anything to displease
their husbands. At the time, George Eliot was writing her book, the
industrial revolution was also taking place and economic and class
values were...

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