• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Discuss the importance of the theme of duty in George Eliot's

Extracts from this document...


Silas Marner Discuss the importance of the theme of duty in George Eliot's "Silas Marner" After careful analysis and examination of the novel Silas Marner, it has come to my awareness that the theme of duty is very prominent throughout the novel. The definition of duty is the obligation made to others. There has to be duties between relationships not only in the novel but also in realty to keep them alive. If duties were non existent in relationships, they would not last and eventually would fade away. There are various different types of duties that have to be taken forward in the novel. For instance, Silas has a duty towards Eppie as Eppie has a duty to Silas. Their duty is to love one and other and to be grateful for what they have got. Godfrey who is the oldest son of Squire Cass has to pay his duties to many people in the book. He has to fulfil a duty to Molly, Nancy, Squire Cass and Dunstan. He has to look after all of these people and has to show them love. He has to support them through all the bad times that they go through. Just because you should do your duties in life, does not mean that the characters are all honourable to their duties. Some characters honour their duties with sincerity and some characters neglect their duties and wash them away. ...read more.


There is a character that Godfrey likes to help out in collecting in rent. This character is his father, Squire Cass. Although he collects the money for his father, he still lets his irresponsible, gambling brother borrow some money. He knows that this is not a good thing, yet he still lets his brother use up the money on useless things. Trust is an important obligation to have in a relationship with others. By marrying Molly, Godfrey lost the faith that his father had for him. The reason he had to get married to Molly was that he had a child with her. On the other hand there was one character that satisfied the theme of duty. The name of this character is Silas Marner. He is honourable to all those that he has to pay duties to, especially Eppie. Eppie entered Silas' life when he was vulnerable. He had just lost something that he believed to be his most valuable possession, his money. So, when he laid his eyes on Eppie he felt warmth within, which he had never felt in his life. "It seemed as if there were gold on the floor in front of the hearth." He took Eppie in as his own child and cared for her. He fulfilled all of his duties and obligations to her. He cared for her and disciplined her for her own good. ...read more.


Even when Silas finds Eppie, Dolly is beside him, aiding him to bring her up and she helps to feed Eppie. She brings Aaron's old clothes for Eppie, knowing that Silas could not afford to buy any clothes. This is another example of Dolly taking her life's duties seriously. Dolly is not only just supportive to Silas financially, but emotionally too. When she sees that Silas is feeling left out because he was not bonding with Eppie, as he wanted to, Dolly tells Silas that Eppie' love for him is far more than it is for her. This makes Silas feel better. Dolly in my opinion is a role model. I say this as she is one character that has shown in the novel that it is possible to do all of our duties. One does not always have to neglect their duties. I think that it is fairly obvious and evident that the theme of duty plays a very prominent role in the novel. It is also clear that the people with money, power or strength are not the people that achieve happiness in the end. It is the people that take their obligations to others seriously. It is also clear that the people that are neglecting their duties are getting punished, whether the punishment comes a week or even years later. Ironically the people that honoured their duties were rewarded in the end. This moral is not only relevant in the novel but in reality too. 2 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE George Eliot section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE George Eliot essays

  1. Exploring the theme of relationships in Silas Marner

    Even the relationship between Godfrey and Nancy Lammeter is problematic. In contrast Silas and Eppie's relationship has love and laughter as well as affection and trust. This stark contrast generates an immediate liking for Silas and his brilliant surrogate parenting.

  2. Discuss The Importance of Loneliness in the Novel Silas Marner by George Eliot

    that by acting too eager he will increase the probability of having to marry too soon, when he already has a wife.


    Silas started loving gold so much that after that day he believed it to be his friend and everyday he counted his beloved money: He loved the guineas best, but he would not change the silver - the crowns and half-crowns that where his own earnings, begotten by his labour; he loved them all.

  2. Silas Marner - Eppie is significant to the novel. Discuss her Character and her ...

    and living sounds, and living moments; making trial of everything, with trust in new joy, and stirring human kindness in all eyes that looked on her." At a young age Eppie is very mischievous and will often playfully explore. She has a distinct love for the world and all its floral nature.

  1. The changing role of money in Silas Marner’s life

    Eliot referred to his "withering desolation" as if he is shrivelled up by despair. She referred to the loss felt by Silas as someone whose loved one has died. The attitudes of the villagers are changing as they try to comfort him by visiting his cottage and bringing gifts.

  2. The Bad are Punished, The Good are Rewarded,Is ‘Silas Marner’ a Moral Tale?

    And this is when his motives for weaving change, from an instinct, too a greed for gold. But it doesn't start of as greed, at first it is a fascination, because in Lantern Yard, he probably would never have seen this much money before.

  1. Why Did Lloyd George Win So Convincingly In the 1918 General Election Yet Fall ...

    armed forces to be released first, leaving the run-of-the-mill ground troops without much chance of finding professions. This caused upheaval as thousands of rank-and-file army troops demonstrated outside parliament about the abuse they felt they had suffered. Lloyd George quickly backtracked and adopted his 'first in, first out' policy- giving the longest serving men the opportunity to find employment first.

  2. Silas Marner - The Bonding of Silas and Eppie in Chapter 19.

    Now the roles have been reversed. George Elliot cleverly portrays Silas as a good father even though he is not Eppie's birth father. It is apparent that Silas does not need to use clever words or put pressure on Eppie as they have a strong paternal/daughter bond where use of

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work