Introduces her four major concerns illustrated in Silas Marner - namely village life

Authors Avatar

Within the very first paragraph on the book, Gorge Elliot introduces her four major concerns illustrated in Silas Marner – namely village life (of the late 18th century), superstition and belief, alienation and historical change (in this case specifically that caused by industrial revolution and the ending of the Napoleonic Wars). These concerns are closely woven together in the story (and in some cases real life) as can once again be seen in this opening two paragraphs and often can be looked at in relation to one another.

Village life was probably Gorge Elliot’s primary focus when writing the novel and her anthropological investigations provide us with a fair deal of insight into it throughout the novel. The village of Raveloe is the setting for the majority of the story. The third line, while not introducing us to it per se, introduces us to the general idea of villages resembling it. It is said to be “far away among the lanes or deep in the bosom of the hills”. This is an important introduction, physically and psychologically distancing Victorian readers from Raveloe and making it seem totally different from the world they live in. In many ways, this difference is very real. Raveloe is still untouched by the effects of the industrial revolution that created the town Elliot’s readers are familiar with. It is Elliot’s objective to provide a comparison between Raveloe and such towns – represented in the novel by Lantern Yard.  

Join now!

The opening paragraph also describes the villagers. They are described as “untraveled” and are very much uneducated. Knowledge to them is something suspicious, most likely due to the fact history has showed that those with power and knowledge tend to oppress those who are weaker. The villagers find it difficult to associate the concepts of knowledge or power and goodness with one another. Another thing these country folk are distrustful of are things outside their realm of knowledge, which is fairly small. Anything which they do not comprehend or have not experienced, such as the weavers and their trade, ...

This is a preview of the whole essay