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Silas Marner - Discuss the presentation of the classes(gentry and workers) in the novel.

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Introduction

Discuss the presentation of the classes(gentry and workers) in the novel Raveloe, belonging to the nineteenth-century class society, strictly follows the social caste system. The segregation between the rich and poor can be seen chapter two where ' the rich ate and drank freely, ...... and the poor thought that the rich were entirely in the right of it to lead a jolly life'. George Eliot has the social hierarchy encoded in many ways: their habits, their languages, and their way of thinking. Due to the lack of education, superstition reigns among the working people. They think that Marner was involved in black magic when he was able to sure Sally Oates. ...read more.

Middle

Their ignorance and limited knowledge can be seen when Mr. Macey commented about Mr. Lammeter's father's origin. Eliot, through her portrayal of Godfrey and Dunstan as wealthy, selfish scoundrels who try to use one another and others to their personal advantage, asserts that the upper class has damaged society. The gentry do not frequent the Rainbow. The wealthiest families in Raveloe hold formal lavish parties. The upper-class society of Raveloe always congregates at Squire Cass's Red House for the New Year's Eve party, which some of the privileged villagers are allowed to attend. However, they had to be seated on benches for them near the door. ...read more.

Conclusion

He offers Eppie a good and luxurious life at the Red House as he wants her back as his daughter. Eppie however, brought up in the working class, chooses to stay with Silas. This shows that while the Cass family, thinking that their wealth gives them undue privilege and rights to property, seems incredibly egocentric, Silas, representing the lower class, is seen as a humble victim of class bias. Although both the gentry and the workers have different habits and way of thinking, both classes have the same conversational topics: news and memories of Raveloe. In examining the social structure of Raveloe, Eliot defines the society by showing that the villagers understand the value of craft and skill and the upper class (the Casses) are dangerously idle. ...read more.

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