Guide to Critical Essays on Silas Marner

1388 Words May 10th, 2012 6 Pages
GUIDE TO CRITICAL ESSAYS ON SILAS MARNER: 1. 1. SILAS MARNER: A STUDY IN TRANSITION by Shirley Galloway
Writer’s thesis: * The story is not a fantasy but a serious work * Main issues are class ( Eliot refutes the common belief that the upper classes are superior) industrialization ( she argues that industrialization dehumanizes and alienates workers) and religion ( she suggests a ‘religion of humanity’ as substitute for failure of organized religion). * The issues are realistically treated, in the context of the author’s time, and through a series of contradictory parallels.
Para 2: Explains that novel is set during time of transition and summarises story.
Para 3: finishes summary.
Para 4: dual story line mirrors
…show more content…
Central point of the novel., accounts for different endings of 2 stories. * We can now understand regeneration of two characters. Silas lost faith because LY religion inadequate in encountering a complex world, but repeated mistake by turning to narrow materialism. Weaving and gold provide order and meaning. Eppie frees him from man-made web, connects him to web of life. Love and fellowship act as mediator between individual and alien universe. Escape into over-simplification (miraculous intervention in LY or inhuman machine-like logic in Raveloe) denies need for such mediation. * Loss of faith, then gold, required to bring Silas face to face with reality of human situation. Love for Eppie leads to integration with society and new religious belief, based on love for fellows. * Re-defining oracles of religion carried out in discussions with Dolly. * Godfrey’s regeneration. Natural kindness has survived, and increasingly able to accept alien and ordered universe. Role of Nancy. But also swings from extreme of belief in chance to other, belief in Duty and Nemesis, another oversimplification. Cannot reduce complexity of life to fulfilling legal duties (Nancy also has to learn this). * Stories come into collision when both men claim Eppie. Critical debate. Takes education of both one step further, Eliot’s definition of religion of humanity one step further. * Preparation for this final debate , as well as other thematic concerns, given in

More about Guide to Critical Essays on Silas Marner

Open Document