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Silas Marner is nothing more than a fairytale? Do you think this is a reasonable assessment of George Eliot's novel?

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Silas Marner is nothing more than a fairytale? Do you think this is a reasonable assessment of George Eliot's novel? In the novel Silas Marner by George Elliot, there are realistic and fairytale characters. It always ends in a happy ending. Fairytales always represent good over evil and have a timeless quality and a universal quality. Moreover they contain magic and it is as if in the story that Silas's transformation seems magical. In the novel there is a superior power operating in the book. Also fairytales have stock characters (e.g. evil/hero). In addition to this, in the novel there are partly realistic and fairytale characters. In the book there are fairytale characters. These consist of Eppie, Aaron, William Dane and Dunsey. They have the same qualities. Eppie we only know one thing about her. Aaron is a 'rustic prince', we don't know much about him. Eppie is a fairytale character. She is described as a 'rustic princess' like 'Perdita' in 'A Winter's Tale'. ...read more.


His interest and skill in herbs introduces another aspect to his character because when he treated Sally Oats it shows realism as he cares and has emotions. Moreover there is like a 'magic wand' in Silas. Him being in an epileptic fit is like being touched by 'the invisible wand of catalepsy' which shows that he is not realistic but a fairytale character. Dolly is the other partly realistic and fairytale character. She behaves as a Godmother to Eppie like in the fairytale book 'Cinderella' and she is a fully rounded person. But in fact she is a godmother. She is very positive, down to earth, practical and very deferential. She is not a 'Lord' but a humble person as she allows people to be better than her. In sense Dolly and Silas are like 'husband and wife'. They are both deferential. Dolly is very generous with time and is keenly aware of her responsibilities. She is very much respected as she can offer help to others. ...read more.


Also she changes by becoming more serious and more religious. Even though she hasn't done anything bad she still gets punished and because of this we can then say that she is a real character. Molly also is a realistic character. She isn't mentioned much in the book but we do know a little about her. She is a drunkard who always used to drink. She has a child called Eppie. She is always very depressed and addicted to drinking. All these qualities tell us that she is a real character as she has emotions and would behave like any other person would in this situation. The thesis of fairytale and realism is continued throughout the book. We could say there is pattern in the book where the characters are balanced between fairytale and reality. It is similar like ' A Winter's Tale' where there is loss, evil and deceit in the first part and gain and good in the second part. However this is not the case for Nancy as she is good throughout the book and is still punished by having a childless marriage. Satish Mehra Fairytale essay 16/10/04 1 ...read more.

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