The Growth of George Eliot's Silas Marner Essay

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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.

Silas is good-hearted, honest, and vulnerable human being. In the beginning, he
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Silas comes to the rural village community of Raveloe after his being mistreated by the people he trusted in Lantern Yard and expelled from his church. He arouses the villagers' suspicions and fears by inviting "no comer to step across his door-sill". The villagers' old-fashioned, superstitious beliefs have not yet been changed by new ideas and inventions. They treat him as an outsider because they do not know anything about where he came from or about his past. Their unfriendly, indifferent behaviour is also due to Silas' own misunderstood behaviour towards them.

After helping Sally Oates, a woman who had the same illness that Silas' own mother had, by making a potion from herbs that cured her, he refused to help all the other people who turned to him and believed he was a medicine man. Silas did not act like that out of selfishness. He could have easily pretended to have more knowledge than he actually had and taken their money but he truthfully told them that he did not know much about herbs and did not want to hurt them by making a mistake or giving them the wrong herb which could be just as deadly as it could be helpful. This caused the villagers to shut Silas out of their life and for Silas to spend fifteen years in isolation and utter loneliness, not communicating with any
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