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

How Does Eliot Portray The Class System In The Novel "Silas Marner"

Extracts from this document...


How Does Eliot Portray The Class System In The Novel "Silas Marner" Marian Evans, who adopted the pseudonym of George Eliot, lived in a predominantly patriarchal society and therefore believed that society would not accept a female writer who wrote anything other than trivial novels. Victorian novelists aimed to educate their readers as well as entertain; as a result, they mostly used morals as the theme for their books. George Eliot wrote the novel Silas Marner in 1861. The moral theme of this novel is that everybody receives what they deserve in life. To present the characters and their social class the author uses many different methods, such as the way she describes the villagers in the novel. The villagers are superstitious; George Eliot informs the audience of this by expressing that: "Superstition clung easily round every person." Eliot implies that the villagers are feeble minded and reliant on their beliefs by using the verb "clung". She accomplishes this by using abstract nouns such as "mystery" to show that the villagers are ignorant and oblivious to the things that they do not understand. ...read more.


She then explains to the reader how the rich enjoyed life. She uses the adverb "freely" in relation to their diet, which suggests they had no restrictions in life. To support this she suggests that the rich are very privileged: "Kept all his sons at home in idleness" This portrays the rich to be spoilt and lazy. The author also uses foregrounding to introduce Silas Marner to the novel because she foregrounds his occupation to the reader followed by a brief description of weavers and then introduces him declaring: "such a linen worker named Silas Marner." This also creates an image of Silas Marner in the readers mind before she describes his characteristics personally. The audience learn that Marner is a low class weaver who is uneducated and alienated by his fellow workers. By using the technique of foregrounding Eliot directs the reader to think about and analyse the factors related to Marner which she deems are most important for the reader to acknowledge, meeting the aims of her novel. The reader is therefore able to detach his disposition of being a miser from his social standing. ...read more.


Eliot uses love to substantiate the moral of the story further by plotting Eppie to choose to stay with Silas Marner even though Godfrey Cass could make her life easier. Silas Marner is emphasized as the hero when he and Godfrey Cass discuss Eppie. Silas describes the loss of Eppie as an emotional loss: "You might as well take the heart out o' my body?" Whereas Godfrey Cass talks of Eppie in relation to ownership: "But I have a claim on you, Eppie - the strongest of all claims." The moral theme that everybody receives what they deserve is shown throughout the novel. Silas Marner looses all his money but is blessed with Eppie. Godfrey turns his back on Eppie and in the end cannot have children with his second wife. Dunsey Cass is a thief therefore loses his life. This novel informs the reader that no matter what class you are in, you will receive what you deserve in life. To conclude, one can see that George Eliot uses a variety of methods to present characters and their social class. She also uses a variety of methods to show how rigid the class system used to be. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...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. Silas Marner - George Eliot. Eliot's presentation of the divide between rich and ...

    like to have somebody in the place of a daughter to us - we would like to have Eppie."

  2. "Discuss some themes and characteristics of T.S.Eliot's work, using 2/3 poems to justify your ...

    Summing up the characteristic human desire to avoid the limelight, to hide from interior and exterior worlds by constructing masks. The ladies "talk of Michelangelo" in 'Prufrock' which is cynically satirised and made to appear absurdly trivial and empty, as they "come and go", in comparison to the magnitude and greatness of Michelangelo.

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

    He returns to his house, still quite drowsy. When he glances down and sees the thick locks of curly hair he immediately thinks that it is his gold returned to him. When he reaches out and touches the "gold" he is shocked but delighted that is it warm and soft unlike his cold and hard gold.

  2. Discuss The Importance of Loneliness in the Novel Silas Marner by George Eliot

    This shows how the loss of his money brings him into the closely-knit society in Raveloe where newcomers are rarely witnessed and newcomers are not easily welcomed. In Silas' case he is known to the people, but still feels like a visitor as he has never socialised in Raveloe.

  1. How Is The Importance Of Doing Your Duty As A Parent Highlighted In The ...

    her; fathers are there forever for a child, unless they unexpectedly demise, even a young child like Eppie knows that. Godfrey, however, acknowledged his child because, "the father [he] felt a strange mixture of feelings, a conflict of regret and joy."

  2. How does Eliot create sympathy for Marner in chapters 1 & 2? Why is ...

    But he isn't. Marner is utterly lost in Raveloe, it is so different to the life he left behind and all he knew at Lantern Yard, it being his "fostering home of his religious emotions". "What could be more unlike that Lantern Yard world than the world in Raveloe?"

  1. silas marner

    When Silas saw the little girl he mistook her hair for his gold. After finding her he took her in and adopted her, which shocked everyone in Raveloe. He named her "Hephzibah" after his mother and sister yet she was called Eppie for short.

  2. Novelists in the nineteenth century believed not only in entertaining their readers, but also ...

    secluded, and as he had had no experience of life elsewhere, never questioned what he was told. Due to Silas' occupation as a weaver, he did not earn immense sums of money, but we are told that what he did earn, he donated to objects of charity or piety, showing

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