Silas Marner by George Eliot by Graham Handley (auth.)

By Graham Handley (auth.)

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He is 'powerless', feels 'old quiverings of tenderness' and that there is 'some Power presiding over his life' as he utters 'sounds of hushing tenderness'. His responses, the need for practical action, like the removing of the child's wet boots, show Silas in human 'work' as distinct from the mechanical action of the loom . He has to think and act for another instead of himself; when he carries the child to the Red House and is asked to leave it there he experiences the ' revelation' of not being able to part with it.

But the entrance of the child passes unseen by him, since he is overtaken at this critical moment 25 by 'the invisible wand of catalepsy'. This would appear to be a convenient plot contrivance if we had not been so adequately prepared by the author to regard Silas's trances as an irregular occurrence in his life; we are reminded, too, that at another similar moment of crisis Silas was oblivious to events as he sat by the side of the dying deacon and William Dane stole the money . The 'chasm in his consciousness' over he returns to his full senses, closes the door and returns to the hearth, where he thinks he sees his gold on the floor but, of course , discovers that it is a sleeping child.

Love If one of the major themes of Silas Marner is love, then one must add that it registers the triumph of good over evil. Despite the realism of most of the action - and it is curious that George Eliot thought that verse might be appropriate to the psychological presentation of Silas - the fairy tale theme referred to above must be looked at in terms of treatment. William 41 Dane and Dunsey both represent evil, but William Dane is seen in the outline rather than the flesh. He is the one-dimensional stereotype of the fairy tale, just as Eppie for the most part is too, with Aaron as a rustic fairy prince who marries her.

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