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

Exploring the theme of relationships in Silas Marner

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Eliot suggested in 1861 that Silas Marner should 'set in a strong light, the remedial influence of pure, natural human relations'. How has Eliot explored the theme of relationships in her novel?. ''Silas Marner'' was written by the established and contemporary author George Eliot (alias Mary Anne Evans) in the mid 19th century. The book however, is set in the early 1800s. During the time Eliot was writing this book England was changing - there was a growing population; rapid industrialisation and many people were moving from the country to the towns in search of employment and a better lifestyle. What people found when they arrived in the towns however was a very different story. With a vast class divide and the difference in wealth and living conditions created the underclasses which often turned to opium to escape the reality of their impoverished lives. Lack of morality and an unseen before drive to 'get rich' meant many business men took advantage of their employees, often giving them next to nothing for payment and even in some desperate cases gave them their wages in tokens - which forced them to spend them in the factory shop, frequently charging ludicrous prices for food and such. Eliot's ''Silas Marner'' is one of those novels that tried to portray this new and immoral England alongside the works of Dickens and Gaskell. ...read more.

Middle

In this next paragraph I will describe how Eliot develops the main characters and the theme of relationships by introducing minor characters into the novel. By reading how the minor characters get on with the major characters you getter a better insight into the kind of people the major characters are. For example when Dunstan enters the room; ''The door opened, and a thick-set, heavy-looking young man entered, with the flushed face and the gratuitously elated bearing which mark the first stage of intoxication. It was Dunsey, and at the sight of him Godfrey's face parted with some of its gloom to take on the more active expression of hatred. The handsome brown spaniel that lay on the hearth retreated under the chair in the chimney-corner.'' This portrays Dunstan as a man and character that is feared. With Eliot making out Dunstan to be a generally bad person, Godfrey is mentally compared to him by the reader and made to look like a much nicer person. The relationships between Godfrey and Dunstan Cass towards their father seem very distant and dysfunctional. Their mother deceased, the Squire (their father) seems bitter and unloving towards his sons. Only the mysterious other son, Bob, seems favoured. With the symbolism of the hearth Eliot helps to unravel a picture of their dire family life. ...read more.

Conclusion

Godfrey says heatedly 'I wanted to pass for childless once, I shall pass for childless against my wish!'. This brings me on to my next point; how Eliot uses a develped setting is used to show the reflection between how relationships affect how children grow up to become good or bad people. Eliot wanted to portray this Romantic idea of childhood into Silas Marner and the language she used to incorporate this includes the symbolism of the hearth as well as the technique of intrusive narration. The main integration of Romanticism is in the novels separation into two parts. This gave the book a span of more than twenty years and covered Eppie's life between the golden haired two year toddler and the pretty woman of eighteen. Raveloe is described well 'And what could more unlike that of Lantern Yard world than the world in Raveloe - orchards looking lazy with neglected plenty....homesteads, where men supped heavily and slept in the light of the evening hearth..' and gives an accurate portrayal of life in an early 19th century country village. In conclusion I believe Eliot portays Romanticism in her novel but it also has the alternative interpretation of an innocent fable (golden hair, gold, love, living happily ever after..) as well as portraying relationships and how they influence the lives of children in Britain during the transformation from a rural economy to the Industrial Revolution. ?? ?? ?? ?? Coursework - Silas Marner 17/10/06 Lucy O'Donovan 11.7 ...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. How does Eliot create sympathy for Marner in chapters 1 & 2? Why is ...

    in the novel; for example, she uses psychological insight of Dunsey when he steals Marner's money. She takes us through his thought processes from him planning on asking to borrow the money, to realising Marner isn't home, and assuming he is dead; all in a matter of seconds.

  2. How does George Eliot portray the changes of the character Silas Marner?

    It is as if he is still thing to make sense of everything and by comparing Eppie to money, which was the most important thing in his life, is saying that Eppie is now the most important thing in his life.

  1. Discuss how Silas Marner changes in the novel Silas Marner by George Eliot.

    Silas begins to find love for others as well as Eppie, his love for her makes him realise that people can be trustworthy and he begins again to love all society.

  2. In this essay I aim to discuss the portrayal of Silas Marner in chapters ...

    In chapter 14, when Eppie came into Silas Marner's life it changed drastically. His values had changed in life. He started to value Eppie and realized money is not everything and does not bring you happiness. In chapter 1 and 2 he used to earn money for the satisfaction, but

  1. What Changes Does Eppie Bring About In Silas's Life?

    In the last paragraph of chapter 14 the author steps into the text in order to tell the readers what to think. She used biblical imagery to voice her authority. The paragraph also refers to the motto, and compares Eppie to an angel like the motto.

  2. How does George Eliot use Setting in Silas Marner?

    Soft is a very delicate word that is generally associated with positive and nice things. The use of this word may also reflect that Silas himself has become 'soft'. He has opened his heart to Eppie and so his love for her has changed him from the stone-like character that he once was.

  1. "Analyse the representation of Multicultural Britain in the films Bend It Like Beckham and ...

    and her dad, somewhat feeling for her, gives in and takes her. When Jess and Jules go to London the film shows us a city full of people from many different ethnic backgrounds; during the London scenes diagnostic sound is played, in the form of up beat, high tempo dance music.

  2. Silas Marner - George Eliot. Eliot's presentation of the divide between rich and ...

    All of these points reveal the nature of Raveloe as a whole community. As Silas Marner is the main character, George Eliot attaches that division of status to the story of Silas' life in Raveloe.

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