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

With reference to the novel 'Silas Marner,' demonstrate how Eliot conveys her opinion on the changing face of rural England in the early 1800's

Extracts from this document...


?????????????? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? 'Silas Marner' was published in 1861, when the whole of England had been undergoing many changes. In Eliot's opinion, these changes were definitely for the worse. Eliot herself was raised on a large country estate in Warwickshire. She had also, however, visited a number of towns and industrialised areas as she travelled. This gave her a great personal experience that she could draw upon in her writing. As she herself had at one point shared the narrow-minded views of the people in Lantern Yard and North'ard, Eliot could understand their thoughts and perspectives perhaps better than someone who had never experienced their way of life. Eliot first introduces Raveloe, which lies in the 'rich central plain of Merry England,' on the very first page of the novel. She describes it as 'rich,' in reference to the wholesomeness of Raveloe, and to the prosperous, healthy lives the people there live. The village is untouched by industrialisation; 'old echoes lingered undrowned by new voices,' showing how traditional, old and established this place is. Eliot describes the village as full of 'pink-faced, brawny men' indicating how strong, hard-working and healthy they are. The people in Raveloe are homely, simple and unassuming but are a very close knit community. They are wary of newcomers, and tend to exclude them from their daily life. ...read more.


Families like the Casses of Raveloe may seem like they have everything, but they have deep, dark secrets we learn more about through the course of the novel. This adds realism to Raveloe, so we can empathise with the people and not feel it is a fairytale place that doesn't exist. The family lives in the Red House, which is significant as whilst it is a rich colour showing their opulent and affluent lifestyle, it could also be seen as a colour of danger, a warning. In Chapter 6 we learn more about the villagers, their superstitions and weaknesses, so they too are seen as real, which makes the story more interesting and makes us take Raveloe seriously. However, despite these clear flaws, Eliot still shows an obvious preference for the 'snug, well-wooded hollow' of traditional Raveloe, to the grim industrialisation of Lantern Yard and North'ard. Before his move to Raveloe, we learn Silas Marner lived in a place called Lantern Yard. He could not have picked another two places that were so different. Lantern Yard was very isolated and introverted, even in their so called 'community' there was still betrayal of trust and lies. Although in their 'brethren' they refer to each other as 'brother' and 'sister' there is no real sense of concern or care for each other. ...read more.


Names like 'Prison Street' are significant as they enhance the feeling of containment and limitations. Eppie says how 'stifling' she finds this place, she is already sensing the confinement and restrictions of North'ard although she hadn't been there long at all. Eliot is showing that once you have lived in a place like Raveloe, with it's 'orchards looking lazy' and 'beautiful plains' you start to realise how grim places like Lantern Yard and North'ard are. Personal experience could also have helped Eliot here as she grew up on a farm in the countryside and then visited many towns, so she could understand Eppie's point of view. After traipsing through North'ard, Silas and Eppie find Lantern Yard no longer exists - it has been replaced by a factory. This is significant as it shows how much has changed and what will eventually happen to all of England. It shows that if Lantern Yard has been destroyed, how long will Raveloe stay like it is? As you read Silas Marner you can see how, throughout the novel, Eliot portrays her disapproval of industrialisation. She uses the contrast between the two places Silas has lived in to help us understand, appreciate and develop this dislike of the overpowering sense of darkness and ugliness that comes with the destruction of villages like Raveloe. Eliot sees these changes as inevitable, but would like to preserve the individuality they have in the countryside. ...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. How does the character of Silas Marner change and develop throughout the course of ...

    From the moment she arrived Eppie brought out the affection and love that Silas had been trying to conceal and hold back. Silas showed a great fondness towards Eppie from the moment he realised she was not his gold. He feed her his porridge, with some brown sugar "which he

  2. Discuss how the Communities of Lantern Yard and Raveloe influence the Development of Silas ...

    he says "I've no home but this now" and we can see that his acceptance into daily Raveloe life has finally changed his character for the better.

  1. Discuss How the Two Communities of Lantern Yard and Raveloe Influence the Development of ...

    "They had perhaps heard their fathers and mothers hint that Silas Marner could cure folk's rheumatism if he had a mind, and add, still more darkly, that if you could only speak the devil fair enough, he might save you the cost of a doctor," shows their suspicions effectively and also mentions Silas' healing of Sally Oates.

  2. Trace the character of Silas Marner throughout the novel and explain the ideas that ...

    Silas ran to the door to call for help. Many people came to the room but William never arrived. Later Silas went to work. When Silas returned he was summoned to the chapel where everyone from Lantern Yard met him, they were all staring at him angrily. Silas was completely oblivious to what was happening.

  1. "Analyse the representation of Multicultural Britain in the films Bend It Like Beckham and ...

    His hypocrisy is shown again when he complains about his racist English neighbours but he is just as bad especially when he talks about people from India; India and Pakistan were at war at this time. George and Ella's relationship is a slightly delicate one which you feel in overshadowed by Muslim and cultural traditions.

  2. How does the community of Raveloe respond to Silas at key moments in the ...

    The villagers respected Godfrey; he was 'a fine open-faced, good-natured young man', who tried to convince everybody he was perfect. Dunstan, on the other hand, was quite the opposite. He was known to 'like his drink' and not to be as respectable as Godfrey.

  1. Silas Marner (Silas Marner) and Jolil (Salt On a Snake’S Tail In Come To ...

    This money would not let him down like his faith in God had. He stayed at his loom so that he could earn more of these guineas, making them the centre, the purpose of his life. This becomes Silas' obsession, it was still what he lived for, what ruled his life.

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

    The faults will not, I hope, be a reason for the withdrawal of your interest in him." Later in the chapter she goes on to tell us of his faults, and by doing this she allows us to see the character as a whole person and understand why he acts as he does.

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