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A great deal is significant about the way George Eliot portrayed women's rights in the 19th century in her novel Silas Marner.

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Introduction

English coursework Silas Marner Faheem Ahmed 10T4 A great deal is significant about the way George Eliot portrayed women's rights in the 19th century in her novel Silas Marner. For example Mary Ann Evans had to take alias of George Eliot to hide her true identity and gender to be taken seriously as an author. She lived with a man but couldn't marry him as he was already married (to a faithless wife) this was particularly looked down upon by the Victorian society. As a result of her then radical behaviour she was ostracised, disowned by her family. This is truly an influence on her novels predominantly 'Silas Marner' where you are presented with a wide range of women characters and their rights. Becoming a successful writer brought her acceptance in a society that had already almost exiled her. Victorian society was very different to society nowadays. There were very strict moral attitudes towards issues such as religion and marriage. Women occupied a subservient position in society to men. To be the 'ideal' Women were expected to be beautiful and educated as well as being obedient to their husband and keeping him sexually active, they had to be a homemaker and provide their family with at least one boy. Religion was considered very important in the 19th century so for women to not be involved in religion was seen as immoral, unclean and impure. ...read more.

Middle

Nancy helps Godfrey open up as Eppie does with Silas, Eppie Helps Silas to love life again and to become part of the community, where as Nancy's love helps Godfrey to confess and because of that he sees her as an ideal wife. Probably the most maternal figure in 'Silas Marner' is Dolly Winthrop. She holds Family and children as the most important thing to her as she introduces Aaron to Silas when his gold is stolen to help him recognise the goodness in the innocence of the child. Another way you feel her commitment to children and family is the love she offers Eppie and the support towards Silas through times of confusion and hurt. Such a close relationship develops between Eppie and Dolly as a result of Dolly's motherly love towards Eppie. Dolly has traditional views on marriage in a way that she sees her husband as a patriarchal figure and even though she takes the submissive role in her relationship she isn't afraid to speak openly about criticisms of her husband. She views her married life a lot like she views religion and everyday life, she has simplistic acceptance of the existence and wisdom of god not deeply knowing anything about it as she can't read and doesn't really understand the complicated sermons at church, she just accepts everything to be the way it is for a reason like she tolerates her husband. ...read more.

Conclusion

She is able to blame for her condition as these might be true colours however Godfrey could also be to blame because she has relied on him through marriage and he has abandoned her to be a single mother. She takes care of the child, which is one principle of the Victorian Ideal. A fair amount of different views on lives of Victorian women is revealed in 'Silas Marner'. Eliot explores lives of 'Ideal' and 'non-Ideal' women in her Novel where the ideals are Eppie and Nancy Lammeter and the non-Ideals are Molly Farrow and Priscilla Lammeter. The novel explores Gender, and Stereotypes, she explores the rights of men and women and how people look at women and categorise them through stereotypes, in this case the Ideal and non-Ideal. The ideal women Nancy and Eppie are happy but Nancy is not as happy as she could be she has an empty space because of her morality, Whereas Eppie has followed a role all her life, first she was a daughter and then a wife, she is reliant on men all the way. The non-Ideals are different because Molly dies; she has a negative end but is still going to 'change Destiny'. Priscilla is happy as she is control, she can speak her mind and has all her rights. Eliot in this novel I think is trying to say that their isn't anything like an Ideal or a non Ideal women can be happy no matter how they are, their background, education or looks. Faheem Ahmed 10T4 ...read more.

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