Silas Marner Essay (100%)

Topics: George Eliot, The Reader, Emotion Pages: 3 (1096 words) Published: December 3, 2012
George Elliot shapes and reshapes the readers response to the character Silas Marner George Elliot, writer of Silas Marner, published in 1861, shapes and reshapes the readers’ response to the character Silas Marner through the opinions his Raveloe neighbours have of him in the events that occur. This is achieved through the suspicious and fearful attitudes towards him at the start of the novel, compared to the growing friendships that occur towards the end. Each of these attitudes alters the reader to feel the way Silas does in each situation, which changes as each event occurs. The start of the novel portrays Silas to be an outcast to his fellow neighbours, one of a mysterious and suspicious nature, which triggers a sense of sympathy and pity for Silas from the reader. This is due to the fact that the community of Raveloe does not understand Silas’ past, yet the reader does. This is achieved through the narrator’s description of Silas’ life, which shows the reader both the perspective of his neighbours as well as Silas’ point of view. The harsh view his neighbours have of him in comparison to the readers knowledge of Silas’ past, create the readers response to be respectful and sympathetic to Silas. For example, George Elliot uses the simile, “eyes set like a dead man” to emphasise the harsh and judgemental tone his community has against him through allowing the reader to imagine the horror of a dead man. He then uses the description, “of exemplary life and ardent faith” as a juxtaposition to allow the reader to feel pity for Silas, since the reader knows that the residents see Silas as a dead man, when in reality he is a “bright soul.” Ultimately, the views of his Raveloe neighbours alter the opinion the reader has on Silas due to the knowledge the reader has of his past. When Silas’ money is stolen and he starts opening up to the residents of Raveloe, George Elliot reshapes the reader’s response to Silas to feel more proud and happy for him, despite him losing...
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