In the story Silas Marner written by George Elliot in 1861 looks at the themes of justice and parenting. She shows us how Silas Marner starts off a prominent member of the community in Lantern Yard. Then he gets accused of stealing from the dying man. It was actually his best friend that stole the money. This makes him leave the community and become a hermit living in the woods by Raveloe earning his money by weaving. In the pre industrial age weavers were looked upon as mysterious creatures. Due to his unexplainable trances and his profession as a weaver he is stereotypically outcast from the community.
He then finds Eppie and everything gets better for him and he is accepted in the community this enforces George Elliot’s message that children have an affect on adults. At the start of the novel it portrays Silas as a well loved community member he is happy and is engaged to be married to a woman called Sarah “message from Sarah that she held her engagement” It shows that she loved him and I think that if she loved him and wanted to marry him he would be quite happy. He then gets accused of stealing whilst he was in one of his trances.
This makes him recoil from the community like he had just been stung “I am sore stricken. I can say nothing. God will clear me. ” This quotation shows that he feels like he is in pain and he is hurting because he has lost his good name in the community. When he is found guilty he is forced to leave Lantern Yard and the woman he loved. He is forced to leave the village and move to another called raveloe. This would have upset Silas because he has been used to being a prominent member of the community and then he is cast out from the same community that once welcomed him.
Poor Marner went out with despair in his soul. ” This shows he was very upset. When Silas lived in lantern yard he was liked by all the people that lived in the village. “Silas was highly thought of in that tiny little world” I think George Elliot wrote this so that it shows in the Victorian age people lived in there small villages and knew hardly anything about the world further than a few miles away it also shows that in the small group of people Silas had found somewhere in his community that suited him and that he liked.
He was engaged to be wed to Sarah “Sarah held her engagement” this would have made Silas very happy as he loved her a lot. In Raveloe he is a hermit only coming out of his house to sell his wares. Instead of people he now relied on money to keep him company. He would count his money every night to make sure it was all still there “the crowns, the half crowns… he loved them all” this shows that he was obsessed by the money as he felt love towards them. He loved money because he knew it wouldn’t hurt him like people could so when money came along he had something else to focus on instead of the hurt caused from lantern yard.
He lived on his own away from civilisation and had strange fits that in those days could only be thought of as the devil possessing him. There is no doubt that Silas Marner has been outcast from the Raveloe community I know this because he lives on his own in a small old house completely away from the village and has only one visitor. I think Silas chose to live on his own because society had failed him when he lived in lantern yard again the quote “poor Marner went out with despair in his soul” shows this.
When Dunsten Cass steals Silas’s money Silas is distraught “Silas’s passionate preoccupation of his loss” He has nobody to turn to except the villagers who he hardly talks to. I think that Silas went to the tavern to seek help because no matter how much had happened to him in Raveloe nothing bad happened to him in the tavern so I think he felt safer there. To silas the money was like a person, I think Silas loved the money so much because it was easier to understand than people for him because all the people in his village hardly ever saw him they may have mistreated him but the money did not do anything to hurt him so he liked it.
George Elliot describes how silas has been crushed by the loss of his secret hoard of money “the bright treasure in the hole under his feet were gone, the prospect of counting and holding it was gone, the evening had no phantasm of delight to still the poor souls craving. ” This quotation shows exactly what the gold meant to silas. It tells me that he felt the gold was like a ray of sunlight in his otherwise dark life. He looked forward to counting it like a child would enjoy waking up to Christmas morning, and then when he wakes up and it is not there he would be distraught.
After the loss of his money Silas is very upset and cuts himself off from the community but thankfully the lover of Godfrey Cass, an opium addict with a baby has planned her revenge against him for saying in a fit of emotion. “I would rather die than acknowledge her as his wife. ” This would upset Godfrey’s wife very much and would also make her angry so as her revenge she planned to get Godfrey where she knew it would cause him the most pain. So by turning up at his house whilst his lover Nancy was there she would ruin his relationship in the same way as he broke her heart.
On her way to Squire Cass’s house she walks by Silas’s cottage and dies because of the extreme cold leaving her baby alone. Eppie was used to being left on her own “the little one accustomed to being left on its own for long hours without notice from its mother” This shows that even though her mother loved her she was not a very good mum because she left her young baby alone. This shows me that drugs were also a problem in the Victorian age.
When Silas first sees Eppie he thinks that it’s his gold returned to him. “Gold his own gold brought back to him. I think George Elliot uses the word gold to describe Eppie because Silas loves his gold and gold is a very precious and valuable thing so she is describing Eppie as precious implying to the reader that she is important to the story. “Silas takes her on his lap, trembling with an emotion mysterious to himself” I think the emotion that is mysterious to him is love. I think that Silas had forgotten how to love after being on his own for so long and that he was trembling because he is so happy that he is remembering how good it feels to love somebody.
Eppie helped Silas change a lot in the novel when he lived alone in raveloe he was described as a “miser” who only cared about his money but after he finds Eppie it draws him back into the community as he has to get her christened. Elliot describes Silas’s gold like a chain keeping him at his loom keeping him there longer and longer each day “the monotony of his loom and the repetition of his web” this gives me the view that he has been trapped like on a spiders web.
That he can’t escape the inevitability that he will each day have to weave linen on his loom because he wants more and more gold. When Eppie arrives he has something to draw him away from the loom instead of the gold keeping him weaving “but Eppie called him away and made him think all the pauses a holiday” this leads me to believe that Silas didn’t want to always be working on his loom but his love for the gold kept him doing it. It seems like he is glad to be away from the loom and likes human contact.
That he didn’t want to be on his own by choice but he had nobody even if he wanted to talk. Silas gives Eppie some porridge when she gets hungry and he sweetens it with sugar that he wouldn’t use on himself. “The porridge sweetened with some dry brown sugar from an old store that he refrained from using for himself. ” This shows me that Silas thought of Eppie as more worthy than himself to use the sugar. Sugar would have been expensive in them days and Silas was a miser so would not use it but when Eppie came along he used the expensive sugar this shows an immediate change in Silas.
At the end of the novel Silas tells Eppie how she saved his life. “If you hadn’t been sent to save me I would have went to my grave in misery. ” This shows that Silas felt as though if Eppie didn’t come to him he would have died as a lonely old man in pain it also shows that he is thankful that Eppie came to him even though he has his money back he does not care because he has something much better he has love in his life now. Silas felt that if he didn’t get his gold back and that if Eppie hadn’t turned up he would have died.
I think that Silas changes because he is treated as equal to the rest of the villagers at the start he is treated as a lower class of person because he keeps his life private but in the end when he is involved in the community thanks to Eppie he is treated as an equal. My overall opinion of Silas is that because he had a disability he is treated badly but when people give him a chance and he gives them a chance they see that he is just a normal man.