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Silas Marner - By George Elliot - Goodnight Mr. Tom - By Michelle Magorian - How is the child's relationship with his or her carer presented by each of these writers? How are we made interested in these relationships?

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Introduction

By Claire Plumpton 10B Year Ten Independent Essay Books that I am comparing Silas Marner - By George Elliot Goodnight Mr. Tom - By Michelle Magorian How is the child's relationship with his or her carer presented by each of these writers? How are we made interested in these relationships? Silas Marner tells the story of a weaver who lives, and works in a cottage just outside the village of Raveloe. Raveloe is a very different world from the northern town, Lantern Yard, where Silas grew up, and belonged to a strict religious group. Silas suffered from caleptic fits and his friend, William Dane took advantage of this, to frame him for the theft of church money. Silas was then expelled from the church. Silas then moves to Raveloe and starts a new life there becoming a miserly old man of whom everyone is afraid. Goodnight Mr. Tom tells the story of a young boy named Willie who has abused by his mother and evacuated during the second world war. A widowed man named Tom Oakley, of whom many of the villagers are afraid, looks him after. There are quite a lot of significant similarities in both of these stories, one of them being that in both stories the writer tells us that the people in their community are afraid of them, and that they themselves have brought about this view of them by their own actions and attitudes. In Goodnight Mr. Tom, Tom has rarely spoken to anyone in the village since his wife died, an event that made him feel lonely and isolated from the rest of the world. ...read more.

Middle

won't hurt you". When sat in Mr. Tom's parlour, the writer describes in great detail how afraid Willie is of doing something "bad", and is constantly afraid that Tom will beat him or hit him. In anticipation of this blow, Willie "automatically flings his arm across his face, and (giving) a cry...for the blow he was expecting", but then Willie is puzzled as to why Tom did not hit him, like his mother would have done. Tom who wants to "sort a few things out" then takes him inside. Willie mistakenly assumes that something worse is going to happen. He is probably expecting a beating, like his mother used to give him. When he spies Tom "pick(ing) up the poker and walk(ing) across to the fire" he assumes that "now (he is) going to get it". As he watches the poker "sen(d) the hot coke tumbling in all directions", Willie "was certain he was going to be branded with it". Willie then faints, and regains consciousness. Tom 'mothers' Willie, "plac(ing) him in his armchair", and "tuck(ing) a blanket round him". The writer makes the reader aware that despite any preconceptions we may have had about Tom's character, he is at heart a very caring person. Willie then falls asleep from exhaustion and Tom realises what Willie thought he was going to do to him with the poker. The writer makes us sympathetic and compassionate towards Willie, by telling us about his violent and turbulent past and describing his "blue" body "covered in bruises". ...read more.

Conclusion

Eppie has also managed to persuaded Silas to build and grow a garden with flowers for her, get a dog and a cat, and extend their cottage. Eppie has given Silas something other than money to live for and love, and has restored his confidence and trust in people and thus brought him closer to the community. Silas has given a loving home to Eppie, who would otherwise have been living and working at the orphanage. Tom has brought about many changes in Willie, including, teaching him to read and write, giving him the love and care that he needs and taking him away from his violent past. Willie has gone from being a "timid, sickly...bag of bones" to a healthier, happier, boy, able to read, write, act, draw and paint, who no longer wet the bed, and was more outspoken and at ease with everyone than before. Willie, has given Tom someone to love and care for, and has effectively taken the place of Tom's deceased wife. In both books the child and their new carer have given each other a person to love and care for, and contributed to making each other stronger people who are more in touch with their feelings. They have made each other better people through the love and care that they felt they needed to provide the other with, and have benefited from the love and care shown to them. They have made new ties with their community because of the other person in their lives, and the reader is now satisfied that the characters are happy and their lives are fulfilled, and so the story ends. ...read more.

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