The Theme Of An Oustider In Silas Marner And To Kill A Mockingbird

2872 words - 11 pages

Discuss the theme of an oustider in Silas Marner and To Kill a
Mockingbird.

What is an outsider? The dictionary defines that an outsider is a
person excluded from a group. The outsider plays an important part in
both novels. In 'Silas Marner' by George Eliot Silas is the main
outsider, however in 'To Kill a Mockingbird' by Harper Lee even though
Boo is the obvious outsider there are many others.

'Silas Marner' is written by George Eliot, which is the pen name of
Mary Ann Evans. She had to change her name to a man's name to avoid
facing prejudice, as it was not seen proper for a lady to write books,
this also makes her an outsider. Due to this she could be more
sympathetic with outsiders, this could have influenced her to create
the character Silas Marner. Her book 'Silas Marner' was written in
1860 but is set in 1820 just before the industrial revolution. The
Neapolinic wars were in motion during 1835, this meant that the
landowners stayed rich and the peasants stayed poor. 'Silas Marner' is
set in the town of Raveloe, which is an isolated town as there are no
trains coming or going from it, the only means of transportation are
horses. This makes Raveloe an outsider town. Silas Marner is a weaver
and the fact that the industrial revolution is about to commence is
ironic because as soon as the industrial revolution begins to take
over he will be out of his job, this adds to the theme of an outsider.
A weaver also works from home and does not have many interactions with
other people, which makes him more of an outsider. A weaver was also
seen to be unusual career for a man at this time, which also makes
Silas more of an outsider. People find Silas obscure but still need
him to make fabric for them. This in a way shows human nature, that
people say things and think things about other people but are not too
quick to tell the person themselves.

'To Kill a Mockingbird' is set in a town called Maycomb in Alabama. It
is written in the 1950's but is set in 1933-1935. At the time it was
set and at the time it was written there was a lot of prejudice
against black people in America, especially in the southern states.

The 1930's were also the time of the depression, which meant that many
people had gone bankrupt. The Jim Crow laws were also still in motion,
which created a segregation of white and black people. In the 1950's
civil rights were important in the U.S.A as black people were fighting
for them. It was also the time when the majority of white males were
members or sympathisers of the Ku Klux Klan. This adds to the theme of
an outsider in this book, because one of the outsiders Tom Robinson is
the victim of racial prejudice.

Both novels are set thirty years before they are written and both are
a hundred years apart. This shows that prejudice is constantly around.

In the town of Maycomb hierarchy makes outsiders of people. The Finchs
are regarded as southern aristocracy but later become...

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