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Silas Marner - George Eliot

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Introduction

Silas Marner - George Eliot > Consider fatherhood in the novel, with particular reference to Squire Cass, Godfrey Cass and Silas Marner _______________________________________________________________ The novel 'Silas Marner' is written by George Eliot and took place in Raveloe which lies in the rich central plain of Merry England in the late 18th century and beginning of the 19th century. This novel is published in 1861 but is concerned with events from 1780's to 1820's; Eliot celebrates the best in the traditional rural life, while acknowledging the inevitability of progress and change. The novel's major theme, of loss and redemption through love, is embodied in the experience of its main character - Silas Marner. Other themes of this novel are isolation, injustice, faith and duty. The novel attempts to prove that the love of other's is ultimately more fulfilling than the love of money. The novel' other main character is Godfrey Cass whose story is linked throughout the novel with that of Silas Marner. Squire Cass is one of characters of this novel. He is the owner of the Red House and father of four sons. Squire Cass has raised his two sons - Godfrey and Dunstan in a different way and they both turns out as bad people. ...read more.

Middle

Godfrey has a lack of moral courage which brought his sorrows upon him. He should have brought Molly to his home and told people he was getting married and then he wouldn't have been in the state he is. Godfrey tries to be a good father but instead of showing his feelings through love and care for his daughter, he tries to do so by giving money to spend on clothes and accommodation for Eppie and when she is older making her a lady and rich. When Eppie is young and living with Molly, Godfrey rarely visited on odd occasion and took no notice of his daughter. He doesn't show any feelings towards her, he just sees her because it is father's duty to give money towards her upbringing, not through love and his own willingness to do so. Godfrey is selfish as well. This is proved when he doesn't do more for Eppie and worries about his self image and what people would think if they found out he had married a drug addict and also doesn't want anything to get in the way of him courting Nancy. As his own father, Godfrey has proved to be a bad father. ...read more.

Conclusion

The novel 'Silas Marner' gives us Eliot's message about fatherhood which is the real father is the one who cares for child, loves and treats the child well. The ideal father lets his child make decisions on its own to lead its life. The father who has blood relation with child and who is child's biological father but doesn't care for child does not deserve to be called 'Father'. The Squire is biological father of Dunstan and Godfrey but spoilt he them which made them expect people to do everything for them in life and also greedy. Also, Godfrey is Eppie's biological father and means to be a good father but he is mentally weak and doesn't show his love thorough emotions but by money which isn't a good sign of good parenting. This concludes that neither Squire nor Godfrey is able to become good father. Eliot's ideal fathering role is Silas Marner. This is because he is not biological father of Eppie but loves Eppie and treats her well, letting her make decisions on her own to lead her own life. This can be seen in the words of Eppie, "I can't feel as I've got any father but one, I've always thought of a little home where he'd sit i' the corner, and I should fend and do everything for him. I can't think o' no other home" ...read more.

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