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

What Part Does Gold Play in the Lives of Godfrey Cass and Silas Marner?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

English Coursework-What Part Does Gold Play in the Lives of Godfrey Cass and Silas Marner? George Eliot's 19th century novel explores the lives of the people of Raveloe, especially those of Godfrey Cass and the weaver Silas Marner. Raveloe was a small, sleepy village tucked far away from the advancing industrial revolution. "Raveloe lay low among the bushy trees and the rutted lanes, aloof from the currents of industrial energy" The inhabitants of the village led simple lives and were all traditionally church going. They were highly suspicious of strangers, particularly those from different parts of the country. This reflects the fact that travel was inevitably slower and more arduous than it is today, and any traveller would have been seen as though almost from a different country. Even though Silas and Godfrey have seemingly nothing in common, leading two very different lives separated by a large gulf in class, they are both linked together by the power of gold, in the literal and symbolic sense. By the end of the novel their paths have intertwined. The book starts with Silas very much alone, his faith in mankind and God shattered. "Poor Marner went out with despair in his soul that shakes trust in man and God, which is little short of madness to a loving nature" George Eliot describes Silas as "honest" and "simple" and says he is "a good man". ...read more.

Middle

Dunstan walks off unscathed, minus the desperately needed money. Walking home he notices Silas's house unattended and hearing rumours of the weaver's gold enters to search for it. He finds the hidden money and exits, walking off into the night. Marner's life comes crashing down when the gold is taken from him. Some time after first entering Raveloe Eliot establishes Silas's growing love and continued need for gold over a prolonged section of the book, so the reader is fully aware of how deep his requisite for it is. Upon discovering his gold missing Silas cannot quite believe that it is gone, searching again and again for it in it's hiding place under the floorboards "He passed his trembling hand all about the hole, trying to think it possible that his eyes had deceived him" The thought of his precious gold ever disappearing never crossed his mind, as his disbelieving actions show. As he frantically searches every nook and cranny in his home the reader immediately sympathises with his predicament and feels a great deal of pity for Silas, seeing his distress at the loss. His reaction shows how much the gold means to him. He goes to his loom, looking for something to reassure him, to calm him. The moment he accepts the gold has vanished he lets out a terrible, despairing wail, the pain of his past betrayal seeming to resurface in the loss of the gold. ...read more.

Conclusion

He and Nancy are now happily married but are ironically childless after a miscarriage. Believing he would have children with Nancy may have been part of the reason he didn't take Eppie and now he is left with no one to carry on the family name. When a skeleton is found in the drained quarry it is proved to be Dunstan's, along with Silas's money. This pushes Godfrey into some sort of action. He manages to tell Nancy that Eppie is his daughter after the first revelation. They decide on taking Eppie back and set off to Silas's home immediately. Silas has realised that Eppie has enriched his life much more than his gold ever could as he looks at his now returned money. At this point Godfrey and Nancy knock on the cottage door. After carefully building towards the subject of Nancy's parentage Godfrey reveals he is her biological father and that he wishes to take her back, offering her all the money she would ever need. Nancy does not wish to leave Silas, the man who has been a proper father to her. Godfrey cant understand her decision, saying he has a "natural claim" on her as if she were some possession. Godfrey and Nancy leave and it is clear to the reader that while Godfrey has more wealth, Silas is the richer man. George Eliot is saying here that human love is more rewarding and enriches you far more than money and material items, the likes of which Godfrey was offering. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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. By Comparing Silas Marner and Godfrey Cass, consider Eliot's presentation of fatherhood in Silas ...

    It is no surprise that Godfrey takes little responsibility for his child until the end of the book as we know as readers that his father offered him little love. Godfrey does not claim Eppie to be his he does still seem to love her "a conflict of regret and

  2. DISCUSS THE THEME OF PARENTAL DUTY AS IT IS IN THE CHARACTERS SILAS MARNER ...

    Godfrey never tells of his double life because he was a scared coward. The author seems to criticize people like Godfrey Cass who live by deceit, hoping things will happen by chance. Deep down Godfrey is weak and selfish. He shows no care or compassion for what could have happened to Eppie.

  1. Explore George Eliots interest in human nature as shown by her approach and interests ...

    As the novel goes on, eventually his gold is stolen from him. The gold was the only thing in his life and he felt like if it was his baby and he cared a lot about the gold. In the novel he thinks to himself "What thief would find his way to the Stone-pits on such a night as this?

  2. To what extent do you agree that social and moral analysis is required of ...

    Instead of prescribing unnecessary medication in order to get money for it he only prescribed when it was needed. Some people in Middlemarch feared change, they did not realise that the ways of the majority were always the right ways.

  1. Silas Marner - The Bonding of Silas and Eppie in Chapter 19.

    The knocking of the door symbolises the change in tone of the chapter as the knocking could be interpreted as quite sinister. Conflict, at this point begins, between Eppie's biological father and her 'foster' father. This contest raises questions as to who is the most justified parent.

  2. What part does gold play in the lives of Godfrey Cass and Silas Marner?

    Unfortunately Marner had been watching over his deathbed and had been arrested by an attack of his catalepsy, which is seen as a spiritual vision of some sort in Lantern Yard but is viewed with suspicion in Raveloe. While this was happening, Marner's best friend William Dane steals the Deacon's

  1. How far would you agree that "Silas Marner" is a simple morality tale? Do ...

    squandering, arrogant and demanding, yet at the same time they do nothing and earn respect. By doing this, Eliot is almost making us side with the working class in my opinion. People like Silas Marner, who work hard for their money, George Eliot makes us sympathise with, by adding comments

  2. "The main characters in Silas Marner cannot be fully understood without an awareness of ...

    Silas moves to Raveloe and lives in a cottage on the outskirts of the beautiful English countryside. He feels rejected and betrayed by Lantern Yard and does not wish to be hurt again by this community, so does not allow himself to get too close.

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