The discussion will take place first in Silas Marner novel. It is taken to be first since it needs full concentration of the reader.
Two characters are going to be in “redemption” and “re-generation”, in their concepts and beliefs in life. The main character of the novel, which the plot builds on, is “Silas Marner”. His penance is him living lonely and cut off from the world for 15 years, till he finds Eppie. Eppie, is like the fairy genie, which will be the cause of his “re-generation”.
Silas’s redemption is evoked, when he takes Eppie the little child and raises her. By doing that, he was attaching him self to his passion, and re-gaining trust in kinship and emotions. The following quotation support the point mentioned:
For Silas, ignorant and confused as he is, moves, even in his passion for gold, on a more intense and heroic emotional plane than the villagers… [Austen, Henry.226]
The quotation mentioned earlier will be explained with more details. Silas love of money was replaced by Eppie’s love. It is only a symbol to the replacement of materialism and loss of faith to human kinship and trust in a new religion based on love, not religious myths and supernatural elements. Eppie is the message for Silas and the reader:
The ‘message’ the child brings is the all-importance of natural human affections, and Silas is receptive because his affection has survived the fifteen years of isolation. [Carroll, David.197]
It cannot be said that Silas is a villain character, or else he would not have changed. He was in loss, when the lot that should have announced him not guilty, gave an opposite answer. This incident happened in Lantern Yard; he was then a part of a religious group. He was accused of stealing the dead man, who he was looking after that night. Their custom is to draw lot, so that God show them the right answer. It came negative; he lost faith in man and God as a result to this incident. When he moves to live in Raveloe, he worships money. He stay lonely for fifteen years; it can be said that it is his penance for losing faith in human kind, and disbelieving in a righteous “mysterious Power”. The penance ends, and the “re-generation” start with Eppie’s appearance in his life. She makes him trust again humans, and trust a new believe in a new God he never knew.
Another main character, wh...
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... man. “And to nothing else.”’ [Hard Times. Ch.8]
Mr.Grandgrind character, however, is not villain. He takes Sissy to love with him, to educate her, when he knows her father flee. He is deep inside a gentle person, and a loving father. Maybe his love, in a way blinded him to see the truth of his teaching to his children. That is why his redemption evokes bitterly, and he decides then to make “his facts and figures subservient to Faith, Hope and Charity.”[Hard Times. Ch.9]
In one way or another, this novel, as Silas Marner, calls for a universal theme of love and kinship. Life cannot be based on reason, and materialism. It can be based on kindness and friendship. To have the mind and heart in peace.
Austen, Henry. A Qualified Redemption of Ordinary and Fallible Humanity. 1970. 225,229,230.
Carroll, David. Reversing the Oracles of Religion. 1967. 197,198,199.
Dickens, Charles. Hard Times: An Authority Text, Background, Sources, And Contemporary Reactions Criticism. NewYork: W.W. Norton & Company. 2,1990. Ch.1: 1, ch.7: 203, ch.8: 210 & 211, ch.9: 218.
Eliot, George. Silas Marner. London: Penguin Books. 1996. Ch.8: 66, ch.14: 130
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