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IN WHAT WAYS DOES GEORGE ELIOT ELICIT OUR SYMPATHY FOR SILAS MARNER?

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Introduction

IN WHAT WAYS DOES GEORGE ELIOT ELICIT OUR SYMPATHY FOR SILAS MARNER? Throughout the nineteenth century, there were habits which all writers followed. They are called literary traditions. Throughout this coursework, I will try and weave in the ways in which the literary traditions of the nineteenth century are embedded in this novel. It was very rare for women to have their work published in the nineteenth century so the author of this novel had to change her name to a mans name. The original name of the author of this novel is Mary Ann Evans. Women's work took a great change to men's writing because, as it is known, women include their own psychology in their writing, which is different to the way men think and write. Also women are more emotional in their writing, which tends to emerge during the course of their novels. This entire novel is about a man named Silas Marner. At the beginning of the novel he lived in a small town called Lantern Yard, and the reader immediately notices that he is living a normal and relaxing life. One can see this from the immediate words 'in the days when the spinning wheels hummed busily.' This instantly implies an atmosphere of relaxation, so the by the end of the first page, Eliot has already set a relaxing scene. ...read more.

Middle

Silas has surely done this, and we feel happy for him that he has made a friend, even though he had his money stolen. The whole novel engages the reader in the increasing interest in human motivation. Guilt at the beginning of the novel when he was accused of stealing the gold. Despair when he loses his own gold. Hope when he finds Eppie, and creates a friendship with Dolly. And finally love, which he feels towards Eppie. We see that Silas is extremely sensitive and was a religious person with full faith in god. When he is banished from Lantern Yard though, he goes through a complete loss of faith in god. He knew he was innocent and he felt that if god could not find him innocent, then either there is no god at all, or even god did not trust him. A very basic and noticeable way that George Eliot brings out our sympathy for Silas Marner is by involving him in terrible happenings, the worst one being that his life savings were stolen from him. Eliot describes Marner's reaction in comparison to an animal, and said that he 'stood motionless' because he was totally gob-smacked by what had happened. He was so convinced that this had not happened that he ' passed his trembling hand all about the hole, trying to think it possible that his eyes deceived him.' ...read more.

Conclusion

When Silas lived in Lantern Yard, it was evident from the description that it was a closed community. A closed community is a plant community that does not allow for further colonization, because all the available niches are already being occupied. This is also a good way to describe Raveloe, since they were so unwelcoming to Silas. Another main theme in the novel is hope, which Silas finds, when he discovers Dolly and Eppie. Different themes were also a classical way of capturing a reader's attention in the time of the nineteenth century. And George Eliot makes use of this tradition to bring out sympathy for Silas Marner. It was a tradition in the nineteenth century to close the novel on a happy note. This was a relatively common practice throughout all novelists in that time and George Eliot followed the trend of closing the novel with a happy ending. Common day authors tend to vary between happy and sad endings, but closing the novel on a happy note, capped off a very good novel for George Eliot. Whilst it involved the reader in a very clever and well-structured piece of writing, it also taught me a lesson that I will use in the future; don't live a simple life, befriending yourself from others, but rather enjoy life to the maximum, and even if something which is precious, is taken or stolen from you, just have faith in god and he will be there for you to return something even better! Mikey Holder English Literature Coursework - 1 - ...read more.

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