Themes in Silas Marner

Themes in Silas Marner

Length: 487 words (1.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓


Themes in Silas Marner

 

Silas Marner, written by George Eliot in 1861, attempts to prove that love of others is ultimately more fulfilling than love of money. This theme shows throughout the book, though the manner in which it is revealed leaves a bit to be desired. Often Silas Marner is criticized for being such a simple, unrealistic story. It does seem odd that after fifteen years of almost solitary confinement, Silas can trade his love of gold for his love of a daughter overnight. Despite Eliot’s attempt to portray Silas’s reawakening to society as a slow transition, the reader interprets his change of heart as a direct and immediate result of Eppie’s arrival. Despite these flaws in the story, the overall theme that man cannot live in a vacuum is portrayed by Eliot very well. Though Silas finds some satisfaction in his tenacious weaving and hoarding of gold, he only discovers true happiness after he dedicates himself to inter-personal relationships. Though his exile from Lantern Yard proves devastating to his self confidence and trust in others and God, fifteen years later Silas makes a full recovery, adopting Eppie to replace his love of money with love of a daughter. The fact that Lantern Yard has disappeared years later when Silas and Eppie go to visit it suggests that this town is no longer dear to Silas. In fact the removal of the town serves as a metaphor for Silas’s ability to find happiness outside his past.

Also, near the conclusion of the story, the "fits" of Silas seem to have subsided. This makes sense because since the bachelor weaver has recovered and Eppie has opened his eyes to the reality of the world again, his soul is no longer separate from his body. While before, his soul was exiled and held in a purgatory of sorts before he found Eppie, now his spirit is alive and well, living in the present. Yet he still has relapses, suggesting that the fifteen years of self-torture have left permanent scars on his troubled soul.

One lesser theme of the book is in regards to the Cass family. Eliot, through her portrayal of Godfrey and Dunstan as wealthy, selfish scoundrels who try to use one another and others to their personal advantage, asserts that the upper class has damaged society. While the Cass family, thinking that their wealth gives them undue privilege and rights to property (Godfrey’s attempt to seize Eppie from Silas), seems incredibly egocentric, Silas, representing the lower class, is seen as a humble victim of class bias.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Themes in Silas Marner." 123HelpMe.com. 20 Nov 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=3030>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

George Eliot's Silas Marner Essay

- George Eliot's ‘Silas Marner’ The novel, ‘Silas Marner,’ is considered to be a moral fable. The author, George Eliot placed parental responsibility as one of the book’s main themes. She writes of two different parenting styles, along with the happiness and responsibilities that come with this through two characters, Silas Marner and Godfrey Cass. At the beginning of the narrative the character, Silas Marner, is a completely different person from the one he was later to become. The book starts by explaining how Silas Marner left his original home- ‘Marner had departed from the town,’ because of a false accusation that his best friend had made about him....   [tags: George Eliot Silas Marner essays]

Research Papers
2856 words (8.2 pages)

Silas Marner Essays

- In the book Silas Marner, written by George Elliot, many important themes are presented. It deals with things such as greed, prejudice, superstition, love, isolation and others. All the characters have different traits and all fit in to these themes. Prejudice is the most prevalent theme, in this book. All of the people in Ravelo were extremely prejudice against outsiders. Here are three characters that were victims of prejudice. First, there’s Slilas Marner, an old miser. His only joy in life is to sit at home and count his money....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
573 words (1.6 pages)

Silas Marner, by George Eliot Essay

- Silas Marner, while it’s a story written in the 1800’s in a rudimentary society with backward concepts and inverted beliefs, its still is story that readers can relate in a personal part of their lives. Isolation and rejection, salvation and forgiveness, there all themes which occur regardless of time period. Despite that some characters struggle with certain themes more than others its allows the audience to come to the understanding about the authors purpose. “Silas Marner is not unworthy of the reputation already acquired...” In the following review titled the “Athenaeum” the critic principally evaluates the characterization and setting in the novel Silas Marner....   [tags: Thematic Analysis, Critique ]

Research Papers
1315 words (3.8 pages)

Essay on The Pearl, The Good Earth, and Silas Marner

- One major theme that runs through The Pearl, The Good Earth, and Silas Marner is the impact of money on the lives of the characters. All three books vividly incorporate this theme in different ways. Money can greatly alter the way of life of any individual. It can be an advantage or a disadvantage. These three authors used this theme in these novels to show the reader the impact money can have on a person. In John Steinbeck’s, The Pearl, the village of La Paz is alive with greed. Everyone wants something from the main character, Kino....   [tags: Major Theme, Literary Comparison]

Research Papers
602 words (1.7 pages)

The Portrayal of Silas Marner Essay

- In this essay I aim to discuss the portrayal of Silas Marner in chapters 1, 2 and 14 in the novel. The story of Silas Marner is about how things can change in time. It also supplies a certain message. George Elliot wrote the story in 1860. George Elliot was a female and her real name was Marian Evans. She changed her name because it was difficult for a woman’s book to be published. Her story deals with themes of greed, jealousy and envy. There are many morals to this story and we can learn a lot about life....   [tags: English Literature]

Research Papers
2443 words (7 pages)

Silas Marner Essay

- Silas Marner George Eliot the pseudonym of Mary Anne Evans was born in Warwickshire, England in 1819. Eliot was one of the finest realists of Victorian fiction and produced a remarkable range of intellectual novels throughout her life, including the moral fable of Silas Marner. The 19th Century was an extremely patriarchal period, which Mary Anne Evans had to pen her name as George Eliot, otherwise her novels would not be published. George Eliot was a critic of the Victorian society in which she lived, and which she felt remarkably hypocritical in its treatment of her, as an intelligent, freethinking woman, who lived with a man to whom she was not married....   [tags: Papers]

Research Papers
1619 words (4.6 pages)

Silas Marner Essay

- In George Eliot’s Silas Marner, the reader is introduced to a number of characters that possess the elements of selfishness. Silas Marner, Godfrey Cass, and Dunstan Cass exhibit this trait numerous times during novel. Even though these characters all exhibit selfishness during this story, by the end their characteristics are not similar at all. This schism of development is one of the themes of the story that will be analyzed. Regardless of the similar characteristics characters may possess in the beginning of the story, they can become very different people by the end....   [tags: essays research papers]

Research Papers
1060 words (3 pages)

Essay on The novel, Silas Marner by George Eliot

- The novel, Silas Marner by George Eliot Silas Marner The novel, Silas Marner by George Eliot is a prime example of a tale which enlists the use of the literary archetype of the quest. Silas Marner is a lonely man who lives in the town of Raveloe with nothing but his hard-earned gold to console him. His call comes unexpectedly when a man by the name of Dunstan Cass steals the money. This marks the point where Marner sets out on his quest to find the gold. The protagonist’s other in the novel is in the form of Dunstan’s older brother, Godfrey Cass....   [tags: English Literature]

Free Essays
693 words (2 pages)

The Instances of Injustice and Justice in To Kill A Mocking Bird and Silas Marner

- The Instances of Injustice and Justice in To Kill A Mocking Bird and Silas Marner In this essay I am going to compare and contrast the instances of injustice and justice in "To Kill A Mockingbird" and "Silas Marner". "To Kill A Mockingbird" is set in Maycomb, in the southern state of Alabama during the years, 1933-35, the time of the Great Economic Depression. Racial prejudice was particularly strong in the Southern States due to the earlier abolishment of slavery, slavery played an important part in the regions' economy....   [tags: To Kill a Mockingbird Essays]

Research Papers
2227 words (6.4 pages)

George Eliot's Silas Marner Essay

- In Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol, Ebenezer Scrooge transforms from a notorious miser to a humbled, kind-hearted soul as a result of three spirits who apprise him of life's true meaning. Mirroring Scrooge's evolution, in George Eliot's Silas Marner, Silas also transitions from a recluse in society to a rejuvenated man because of a little girl who crawls into his heart. Initially, Silas is lonely man who finds solace from his past with money and solitude. When Eppie enters Silas' home, he begins to understand that there is more substance to life than hoarding gold....   [tags: Analysis Silas Marner Eliot]

Free Essays
778 words (2.2 pages)

Related Searches



Even religion is indicted in the novel, showed to be unjust and hypocritical during the casting of lots which finds Silas guilty. Yet the face of faith is recovered towards the end, following Silas’s return to church and baptism of Eppie. No matter what the circumstances, Silas learns that his faith can always be a pillar of strength.

 
Return to 123HelpMe.com