Silas Marner Research Paper

Submitted By katxvincent
Words: 1597
Pages: 7

Mary Anne Evans, known as George Elliot, was a novelist in the Victorian era. Raised by parents, Robert Evans and Christina Evans she was born November 22,1819 into a family of three children. Because she was not considered physically beautiful, which led to a low chance of marriage, her father invested in an education that most women wouldn’t get. Since she was always an intelligent and voracious reader, her father felt an education would give her a chance at life. While in school she was taught in a religious atmosphere that was opposed to evangelicalism. Her father having access to a library allowed her to be self taught. The tragedies she read on greek mythology later influenced her novels. Fortuitously, Evans was head of a literary enterprise, which gave her the opportunity to work on her writing skills and also to study the novels and literature of others. Evans refused to be categorized with other female writers, so she gave herself the name George Elliot. That, then, became her pen name, which opened the doors to a wider audience.

The Victorian era was the beginning of people questioning political and and religious belief. There was a lot of controversy over Silas Marner due to Elliot making religion such a big factor. Culturally, there was a transition away from rationalism and toward romanticism and mysticism with regard to religion, social values, and the arts. This transition played a big part in Elliot's view on religion and politics. This lead her to write one of her most controversial books, Silas Marner.

An outwardly simple tale of a linen weaver, expresses Elliot's view on her attitude towards religion. The novel was set in the early years of the nineteenth century. George Elliot was one of the leading novelists of the Victorian era. Wanting to escape the stereotype of women writing lighthearted romances, Elliot used a male pen name to ensure that her work would be taken seriously. In writing Silas Marner, Elliot was at a midpoint in her career. Just finishing former novels Adam Bede and The Mill on the Floss, she was gaining a reputation for her “rustic realism”. Elliots style of writing was often compared to pastoral style, a genre of poetry represented by the countryside working class. This was popular through out the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Elliot wanted her novels to stand out from earlier writers like Thomas Gray and Wordsworth, so she decided to show her characters in their “coarse” habitats.

Not all readers took Elliot's project with gratitude; there were a handful of people who critiqued her work and called he characters poor, stupid and despicable. Up against a rough crowd, with the rising of epistemology, the readers soon began to question her religion and faith. Another issue Silas Marner raised was the nexus of industrialization, commodification, and capitalism. Marner leaving Lantern Yard for a manufacturing town, gave a prime example of the push towards industrialization. The obsession of Marner's gold left people to question how much people and items should be evaluated.

Elliot, overall,was an intelligent and sweet hearted novelist. Elliot's knowledge of realism allowed her to express herself in her novels. Her later written novels Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda were both set in provincial England. Both novels were also popular for their realism and psychological insights. Martin Amis and Julian Barnes considered Middlemarch one of her best novels. Living to see herself as a sage, her greatest legacy was the deep psychological insight into the power of desire over conscious intention that she brought the novel, a form which she influenced powerfully.

In the novel, Silas Marner, Silas is a kind hearted men with a medical condition known as cataleptic, which causes him to have small seizures also called fits. Silas, also known for curing people and animals had people convinced that he had special powers. He was also a member of a