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GCSE: George Eliot

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  1. Explain how the character of Silas Marner is portrayed at the start of the novel

    This could also indicate that he has not completely cast aside others although he has moved himself apart from society, and hopefully could finally rekindle belief in humanity. Furthermore, his house is described as 'stone' with a sense of dullness, lack of existence, and lack of emotion - which could depict Silas's own condition. This is enhanced by Eliot "his house is close to the edge of a deserted stone pit." The repeat of 'stone' strengthens our sense of Silas as synonymous with the empty, and the adjective 'deserted' continues to add only to our feeling of isolation derived from Silas and perhaps a signal of betrayal.

    • Word count: 537
  2. How well does George Eliot establish the setting in the first chapter? (Silas Marner)

    At the opening of the novel, Eliot tries to make the setting distanced from the readers. The time, physical setting and characters of the fictional village of Raveloe is obviously unfamiliar to the readers. Readers are then introduced to the lifestyles of 19th century workers, peasants and villagers who belong to the Victorian society in England. As the novel continues, Eliot starts unfolding story of a local enigmatic linen-weaver, Silas Marner, who is alienated from the society. The opening line of the story, ?In the days when?? is a vivid description of a past norm with a fairy-tale quality which is possibly interchangeable with ?once upon a time?.

    • Word count: 509
  3. The Gift of Children in "Silas Marner". What does the novel have to say about the relationship between parents and their children?

    The clever use of language devices include omniscient third person narration, in which it gives an overview of both plots with Eliot?s opinions planted in the text. This use of narration reveals Silas as a solitary outsider, who worked at his trade in the backward looking village of Raveloe ?quite an hour?s journey on horseback from any turnpike.? However, after his betrayal in Lantern Yard, his self alienation from the villagers of Raveloe and the death of his humanity after the theft of his gold hoard, Silas is resurrected by Eppie, the child that enters his cottage whilst he is in a fit.

    • Word count: 3662

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