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How Does Eliot Portray The Class System In The Novel "Silas Marner"

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Introduction

How Does Eliot Portray The Class System In The Novel "Silas Marner" Marian Evans, who adopted the pseudonym of George Eliot, lived in a predominantly patriarchal society and therefore believed that society would not accept a female writer who wrote anything other than trivial novels. Victorian novelists aimed to educate their readers as well as entertain; as a result, they mostly used morals as the theme for their books. George Eliot wrote the novel Silas Marner in 1861. The moral theme of this novel is that everybody receives what they deserve in life. To present the characters and their social class the author uses many different methods, such as the way she describes the villagers in the novel. The villagers are superstitious; George Eliot informs the audience of this by expressing that: "Superstition clung easily round every person." Eliot implies that the villagers are feeble minded and reliant on their beliefs by using the verb "clung". She accomplishes this by using abstract nouns such as "mystery" to show that the villagers are ignorant and oblivious to the things that they do not understand. ...read more.

Middle

She then explains to the reader how the rich enjoyed life. She uses the adverb "freely" in relation to their diet, which suggests they had no restrictions in life. To support this she suggests that the rich are very privileged: "Kept all his sons at home in idleness" This portrays the rich to be spoilt and lazy. The author also uses foregrounding to introduce Silas Marner to the novel because she foregrounds his occupation to the reader followed by a brief description of weavers and then introduces him declaring: "such a linen worker named Silas Marner." This also creates an image of Silas Marner in the readers mind before she describes his characteristics personally. The audience learn that Marner is a low class weaver who is uneducated and alienated by his fellow workers. By using the technique of foregrounding Eliot directs the reader to think about and analyse the factors related to Marner which she deems are most important for the reader to acknowledge, meeting the aims of her novel. The reader is therefore able to detach his disposition of being a miser from his social standing. ...read more.

Conclusion

Eliot uses love to substantiate the moral of the story further by plotting Eppie to choose to stay with Silas Marner even though Godfrey Cass could make her life easier. Silas Marner is emphasized as the hero when he and Godfrey Cass discuss Eppie. Silas describes the loss of Eppie as an emotional loss: "You might as well take the heart out o' my body?" Whereas Godfrey Cass talks of Eppie in relation to ownership: "But I have a claim on you, Eppie - the strongest of all claims." The moral theme that everybody receives what they deserve is shown throughout the novel. Silas Marner looses all his money but is blessed with Eppie. Godfrey turns his back on Eppie and in the end cannot have children with his second wife. Dunsey Cass is a thief therefore loses his life. This novel informs the reader that no matter what class you are in, you will receive what you deserve in life. To conclude, one can see that George Eliot uses a variety of methods to present characters and their social class. She also uses a variety of methods to show how rigid the class system used to be. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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