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What is Your Response to the Suggestion that Raveloe is the Main Character Of The Novel, Silas Marnerl?

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Introduction

What is Your Response to the Suggestion that Raveloe is the Main Character Of The Novel? Throughout the book, we see that George Elliot has a distinct pre-occupation and interest with presenting the working class rural community in an authentic light. She writes the book as a social anthropologist, studying the more primitive community of the time. She has a large amount of sympathy towards the poor, although she herself was not a member of the working class. Using the story as a vehicle she aims to expose the plight and indignity of the poor in Victorian England, it was her main motive. Therefore, her focus throughout the book is in fact village life; in this case a fictional village named Raveloe. Focusing on the villagers, their attitudes and their way of life acts as a way of also commenting socially and politically on the injustices they face. Raveloe can easily be regarded as the main character as without it, the narrative following Silas has little significance. The village shapes the narrative, being responsible for most of the major areas of interest in the tale. ...read more.

Middle

However this all represents a symptomatic characteristic of the village - a concern to help others. The villagers' reaction concerning the pedlar, is an indication of another key characteristic of Raveloe - a belief in superstition. Although the villagers provide lengthy descriptions of this so called thief, we know that no such character even exists. It is an example of how, in such close cut communities, little matters, true or false, can be embellished, escalating into common belief, leading to the creation of new superstitions. Silas is initially associated with the devil and spirit worship. These suspicions are only heightened by his apparent skill with herbal remedies, his strange cataleptic fits, as well as his past home, 'North'ard', where wizards, magic and folklore were associated. However his evident massive bereavement following the loss of his gold dispels any former rumours. Much of this superstition originates from the villagers discussions in the 'Rainbow', an important focus of the novel. This can be seen in the tale of 'Cliff's Holiday', a well known rehearsed tale. Mr Macey, the apparent head of this specific social community, describes how a tailor, known as Cliff, had tried to 'ride the tailor' out of his son, attempting rising up the class system by making a gentleman out of his son. ...read more.

Conclusion

Dunstan ends up dying due his greed, while, although it is unknown to them, because of his rejection of Eppie, Godfrey is seemingly punished by Nancy being unable to conceive. Silas' innocence on the other hand, is eventually rewarded. He is blessed with Eppie, who changes his life. These conclusions follow the villager's moral code, maintaining justice. Categorically speaking, the village has a variety of overall attributes and a predictable nature so therefore can be described as a character. Furthermore, being the main focus of the novel, we can go on to suggest it is the main character. We are more aware of the values and nature of Raveloe as a whole than any specific character - even Silas. All the main events of the novel are shaped by the village. Each personality of each character represents a different aspect of the village as a whole. These individual characters amount to create one, main character which dictates the narrative and plot of the novel. Elliot's concentration on her depictions of the village, indicate that she desired it to be the main focus. Obviously Silas is important, however, it is the events that unfold around him in Raveloe that really influence the direction of the novel. Euan O'Byrne Mulligan ...read more.

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