George Elliot's "Silas Marner" Is Term Paper

  • Length: 2 pages
  • Sources: 1
  • Subject: Sociology
  • Type: Term Paper
  • Paper: #15752711
  • Related Topics: 19th Century

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Marner on the other hand, reveals that despite his social position, he is in fact a very noble individual; he chose to adopt and raise Eppie and to treat her with both love and care. His actions reveal him to be a moral and upright individual despite his social status.

Elliot goes on to show that social order not only dictates the actions of individuals but it dictates morality and integrity between cross-class interactions. Individuals who of higher social classes feel that they have a right to abuse and treat others of lower social class with disdain. This is the reason that Dunsey was so callous in taking Marner's money, because he felt that Marner was a simple source of easy money without any additional value to society. Similarly, Godfrey and Nancy revealed this dynamic when they thought that as higher-class landowners they had a greater claim on Eppie
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than Marner, despite the fact that he raised her himself. Elliot plays upon this dynamic to reveal the implicit prejudices of social order, but at the same time, the consequences of these two above interactions which resulted in the death of Dunsey and the rejection of Godfrey implies that character rather than social class is the most important element of growth between individuals rather than social class. The defined pecking order within Raveloe had no impact on Eppie's decision to stay with Marner simply because he was the better person.

Elliot's novel is a commentary upon the social system within 19th century England. He shows that despite the fact the social order was comprised of a rigid system, human evaluations on an individual basis will be judged by a person's character rather than his explicit social worth. This is an important implication of the book and a lasting criticism on rigid class systems.

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