The Search for Happiness in George Eliot's Silas Marner

The Search for Happiness in George Eliot's Silas Marner

Length: 527 words (1.5 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

            In the novel Silas Marner, by George Eliot, the characters are in a search for happiness.  One character named Godfrey Cass is disappointed  in his search when relying on wealth and luck, instead of love, does not lead him to happiness.  Another character, Silas Marner, looks first to a pile of gold that only consumes his life until he starts loving and caring for a child, who finally brings him happiness.  The lives of these characters show that wealth or material objects do not bring as much happiness as love.

            Godfrey Cass believes that he can use his wealth to buy happiness in place of love that he has neglected to give.  In the novel, he has a daughter named Eppie whom he disowns for eighteen years.  After eighteen years, Godfrey wants her back to fill a hole in his life and make him happy.  He believes that his wealth can replace his missing love.  He admits this when speaking to Eppie, “though I haven’t been what a father should ha’ been to you all these years, I wish to do the utmost in my power for you for the rest of my life and provide for you as my only child” (714).  However,  Eppie “can’t feel as [she’s] got any father but one,” (715) meaning Silas Marner, who cared for and loved her for sixteen years.  The lack of love that Godfrey has given Eppie can not be replaced with wealth, and Godfrey’s life must remain incomplete.

            Silas Marner was once incomplete and unhappy also when he was “cut off from faith and love,” (602) and lived only to collect a hoard of gold.  He shut out the rest of the world and any love he had for anything with it.  “His life had reduced itself to the functions of weaving and hoarding” (602).  In this life with only gold, and without love, Silas was an unhappy and lonely man.  Later in his life when he is happy, he recalls counting his gold every night and “how his soul was utterly desolate”(710).  He remains in this bleak position for fifteen years until his gold is lost and replaced with something to love. 

            When Silas loses his gold, he begins to experience happiness again after opening up to a child.  The child, Eppie, replaces Silas’s gold, but unlike the gold, she requires the love and care of a person.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"The Search for Happiness in George Eliot's Silas Marner." 123HelpMe.com. 11 Nov 2019
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=3033>.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay about Silas Marner by George Eliot

- Introduction: Silas Marner is one of the 19th century novels written by George Eliot in 1861, it publishes by William Blackwood and Sons. In general, the novel is about a man named Silas Marner. His life changes by a betrayed friend named William Dane who is greed of Silas's position in the church. Therefore, Silas leaves his village and goes to another because of the accusation that causes his dismissed from the church while he is guiltless. Then he works as a weaver and he collects gold through his work....   [tags: eppie, godfrey, molly farren]

Research Papers
1631 words (4.7 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)

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)

Essay about Analysis of Silas Marner by George Eliot

- Analysis of Silas Marner by George Eliot At the beginning of the novel Silas says "There is not a just god that governs the Earth righteously, but a god of lies that bares witness against the innocent" At the conclusion of the novel he says "Theres good I' this world I've a feeling o' that now" What makes Silas change his mind, and what are the events leading up to his regeneration. Silas Marner is a novel based on the ups and downs of the main character, Silas and his friends, neighbours and villagers....   [tags: Silas Marner George Eliot Literature Essays]

Research Papers
2462 words (7 pages)

How George Eliot Presents the Role of Fatherhood in Silas Marner Essay

- How George Eliot Presents the Role of Fatherhood in Silas Marner The novel Silas Marner is about a man who loses everything in his old hometown Lantern Yard, to the hands of his friend. He moves to a village called Raveloe which he stays at for 15 years. Being a weaver for so long, Marner has made himself a very small fortune, which becomes his life. When it is stolen by one of the other villagers, Silas feels he has once again lost everything until he finds a small girl which he names Eppie. The bond between these two characters is an essential part of the novel as it brings out a key theme in the novel which is fatherhood....   [tags: George Eliot Fatherhood Silas Marner Essays]

Research Papers
773 words (2.2 pages)

The Growth of George Eliot's Silas Marner Essay

- The Growth of Silas Marner        Silas Marner is introduced as a "pallid young man, with prominent, short-sighted brown eyes" who led a quiet life in the small country community, Lantern Yard. He is a skilled hand loom-weaver of "exemplary life and ardent faith"; His work, friends and faith have a huge part in his life, making him an open and honest person. Silas certainly possesses a flawed character, which we see quite clearly in his dealings with others. From the money he made as a weaver, he only kept a small part for himself, giving the rest to the church and to the poorer people who needed it in the evangelical sect he belonged to....   [tags: Essays on Silas Marner]

Research Papers
1952 words (5.6 pages)

The Triangular Silas Marner Essay

- The Triangular Silas Marner         As a result of betrayal, Silas Marner of George Eliot's so titled novel becomes a man in body without incurring any of the duties normally associated with nineteenth century working class adults. Eliot creates these unusual circumstances by framing our title-hero so it appears to his comrades that he has stolen money. Thereby, she effectively rejects innocent Marner from his community and causes him to lose his fiancé. At this pivotal moment in Marner's life, just as he is about to assume fully the role of a man, depended upon as such by his neighbors, future wife and probable children, he is excised and does not successfully complete the tran...   [tags: Silas Marner Essays]

Research Papers
2584 words (7.4 pages)

Essay on Themes in Silas Marner

- 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....   [tags: Silas Marner Essays]

Free Essays
487 words (1.4 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)

Values In Silas Marner by George Eliot Essay

- Values In Silas Marner by George Eliot Silas Marner by George Eliot is a novel about a man who loses everything but gains more than he originally lost. First of all Silas is accused of stealing church money and murdering the town deacon. Silas expected God to clear him of the crime, but when the church members drew lots, Silas was determined guilty and quite naturally rejected by the Lantern Yard community. He is cast off by Sarah who he was to marry and all that ends with Silas having no more trust in God; he has nothing left at Lantern Yard so he leaves....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
665 words (1.9 pages)

Related Searches

  “Unlike the gold which needed nothing . . . Eppie was a creature of endless claims and ever-growing desires” (684).  The effects of this change are immense.  Silas tells Eppie “If you hadn’t been sent to save me, I should ha’ gone to the grave in my misery” (710), then he adds “our life is wonderful” (710).  Silas changed from being miserable to being wonderful by letting go of his gold and embracing a child with love. 

            The lives of Silas Marner and Godfrey Cass illustrate how wealth or objects will not lead you to happiness, but that love will.  Both men were on a search, but one of them got lost.

Work Cited

Eliot, George. Silas Marner. London: Penguin Books. 1996.
Return to 123HelpMe.com