Silas Marner was written by George Eliot in 1861, it is a novel about a man that used to live in the town of Ravaloe. He is a weaver that moved out of the village when he was wrongly accused of witchcraft and theft. The villagers thought that he had special powers, but in fact he was just a very clever fellow, who was interested in herbal remedies. However when it turned out that he didn’t know any remedies that worked on an illness that one of the villagers had, all of the other villagers turned against him and accused him of not wanting to help them.
Also, Silas sometimes suffered from fits, the other villagers saw him as being abnormal and therefore didn’t want anything to do with him. Silas was quite happy with leaving the village and so he lived his very isolated live; “a spinning insect, he hated all thoughts of the past” Also in the novel there are two other important characters, their names are Dunsey and Godfrey. They are the two sons of the Squire Cass. Of the two sons Godfrey is the more good willed, he tries his best to do his father proud. “a fine open-faced good-natured young man.
However the one big mistake of marrying Molly Farren seems to keep on dragging him back. Godfrey has had a little girl with Molly, but because Molly is of a lower class than Godfrey he is ashamed to tell anyone about the marriage, he is so ashamed because in Victorian times class was incredibly important epically when it comes to marriage. Molly uses this against Godfrey, she blackmails him and then spends the money on opium. Molly, when under the influence of opium isn’t a willing or caring mother, “She did not heed whether the child would wake and cry for her”.
Molly is punished by death, which would seem to be the just ending for her. Dunsey, Godfrey’s brother is the only person that knows about the Marriage between Godfrey and Molly. He also uses this to his advantage to take money from Godfrey. Of the two brothers, Dunsey is the less caring, good-willed person. “a spiteful jeering fellow”. At the end of this novel George Eliot tries to make the ending be as fair as possible, so that the reader feels that justice has been done so that the evil characters are punished and the good characters are rewarded for their good deeds.
I believe that the reason she may have done this is because of the fact that it doesn’t normally work out fairly in real life. She feels that she has not been rewarded for what she believes is worthy of a reward. This is why she changed her name from Mary Anne Evans to ‘George Eliot’ because she thought that she would get her deserved recognition with a woman’s name. She clearly had very passionate feelings about this, and therefore wrote ‘Silas Marner’ to express her feelings.
Firstly, it turns out at the end that Dunsten, the evil brother, is dead. This would be what he deserved because he did nothing but evil throughout the novel. He blackmailed Godfrey. Godfrey was trying his best to be a good brother and lent Dunstan i?? 100, but dunstan took advantage of the opportunity of threatening to tell their father about Molly. Then he killed godfrey’s horse, although this was accidental he still didn’t really care about it.
Finally he stole Silas Marner’s money, but when he came out from Silas Marner’s house with the money he fell off a cliff, and died. Everybody knew how much of a cheat and thief Dunsten was and so they didn’t miss him, “nobody was sorry for his absence, or feared it would be too long” Secondly, you may feel that Silas Marner got what he deserved at the end of the novel. For all that he had done throughout the novel was try his best to do something with his life, but he kept on getting knocked down, but he keeps on trying and then at the end everything works out.
He tried to be a good neighbour in Ravoloe, but he gets accused of theft and witchcraft. Then he just keeps himself to himself and tries to save up money, however that gets stolen from him, at this stage he must have just felt like giving up. But then Eppie comes to him, and he becomes close to losing her but he doesn’t, then his money is returned to him, when they find Dunsey’s body and he becomes a member of the church again, and has seen that there is more to life than money. “Eppie, it’s a bible name”
You may feel that Godfrey is punished quite harshly for having a secret marriage by not being able to have children, but he did have the perfect chance to claim Eppie as his son, but he didn’t because he didn’t think Nancy would want to get to know him if she knew he had a child, he wasn’t proud of it. “Godfrey was not fond of lying”The whole idea of Godfrey’s role is to show that it is better to come out with the truth from the beginning. I feel sorrier for Nancy Lammeter than for Godfrey because I feel that she was punished quite harshly, for something that she didn’t even know anything about, she is punished for Godfrey’s mistake.
As we can see George Eliot does create the idea of justice at the end of this novel, the good in the poem, Eppie and Silas are not punished, as they have not done anything wrong, in fact Silas is even rewarded by getting his money back, becoming part of the community again and Eppie choosing to stay with him. However Godfrey is punished for what he has done by losing Eppie and his horse aswell as a lot of money. On the extreme part of punishment Dunstan and Molly were killed, throughout the novel they had done nothing but evil.
They had both blackmailed Godfrey, and Dunstan had stolen Silas’ money, and Molly had not been the caring, responsible parent that sher should be. In conclusion, I very much agree with the statement “At the end of Silas Marner, there is a feeling the justice has been done, that the bad have been punished and the good rewarded” I believe that the reason George Eliot chose to use this is because of the fact that she knows that in real life it doesn’t normally work out that way. The fact the Nancy Lammeter is punished for Godfrey’s mistake shows that no matter how hard you try, you can’t always please everybody.