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Silas Marner as Related to the Author's Life Essay


There are many situations in George Eliots life that impacted her novel, Silas Marner. Her literary piece told a story about a man who lost everything he loved but regained it when a little light of happiness helped realize there is something more to life than money. The two comparisons that are very similar in Eliots life is faith in God and her love affair with George Lewes, a married man.

Born on November 22, 1819 in Arbury Park in Warwickshire England, Mary Anne Evans was the youngest of five children. This British novelist went through many hardships in her young life. Mary Annes father, Robert Evans, was a member of the Church of England. At the age of fifteen, Mary Anne strongly devoted to Calvins Doctrine of the Elect; which dealt with predestination and determinism. A year later, at the age of sixteen Mary Anne lost her mother in the year 1863. In 1841, she and Robert, her father, moved to Coventry where she was introduced to the Bray and Hennell families, who made Mary Anne question her religious convictions because of their intellectualism and reexamination of biblical studies. This upset Robert very much. After her fathers death in 1849 Mary Anne took her small inheritance and freedom to Geneva and then London. In 1852, she met George Henry Lewes, another writer and editor, who was married, though they were not living together. George and Mary Anne worked together for 25 years of their life, but never married. Mary Annes first work of art was encouraged by Lewes. This also was when she went by the pseudonym George Eliot. George Lewes had pushed Eliot in the right directions with her writing career. As Lewes and Eliot became closer they had decided not to have any children. Just a short time later George Eliots novel Silas Marner was published in 1861. Soon Eliot and Lewes moved into together though just a short time later Lewes passed away. Eliot never recovered from the death of the man she loved. A few months later Eliot died on December 22 (Bloom)(Brackett).

in 1861 George Eliot published her novel Silas Marner. Silas, the protagonist, was an excellent weaver and very social in the town of Lantern Yard. Though one day when his best friend, William Dane, betrayed him by wrongly accusing him of stealing from the towns church; he feels as if he not only lost his trust in people but his faith in God. After being wrongly accused by all of Lantern Yard Silas moved to Raveloe where he isolated himself from everyone. In Raveloe Silas was once again faced with another situation in which his gold was stolen from him. Everyone of Raveloe was willing to help Silas find the culprit, but no one knew that one of the children of the Cass family had stolen the gold to repay a debt. The Cass family was one of the children of the Cass family was one of the higher class families of Raveloe with many secrets. Godfrey Cass, the eldest son, had a secret wife and child in a faraway town; though he was in love with Nancy Lammeter, a hard working girl who didnt care much about the lifestyle she lived. After Silas realized he needed to become social to find his money and the theif, he began to reminisce with more people in Raveloe. It was soon New Years Eve, and a young child had crawled into Silass cottage. He saw the mother of this child lying in the snow dead. When Silas went for help, Godfrey realized that his secret wife was gone and he was free to marry Nancy. Silas raised Godfreys daughter with the name Eppie while Godfrey and Nancy wished to bear children but could not. In the end Godfrey confessed to Eppie about being her father but Eppie had no desire to call anyone but Silas her father. Godfrey realized that Eppie is all grown up and has learned to make decisions very thoughtfully, while Silas realizes that Eppie has made a great impact of his life.

George Eliots religious life has had a great impact on her novel Silas Marner. In her childhood years Eliot was very religious and had a strong belief of God. Her family was also very pious, though her father was a conservative Anglican. In her time of adolescences, Eliot became interested in German and English philosophers who made her question her belief in God (Bloom) (Snodgrass). In the novel Silas Marner, the protagonist Silas, has a very different emotions towards religion. At the very beginning of novel, Silas at his younger age is shown to be more religious. Silas is betrayed and wrongly accused by his close friends from Lantern Yard and which makes him lose his faith in good. He says, there is no God that governs the earth righteously, but a God of lies, that bears witness against the innocent (Eliot 9). William Dane is the man who not only betrayed him but wrongly accused him. In the novel Silas first shows that he has faith in God when he knows he is telling the truth about not stealing from the church. When no one in Lantern Yard believes or trusts Silas anymore he starts to think God did not want to help him anymore. Thus, both Eliot and Silas had strong reasons to question their faith in God. Therefore Eliots religious life had a strong impact on the novel.

Furthermore, Eliots social life influenced the writing of her novel. When Eliot was just starting her career she had an amazing opportunity to work with a European editor named George Henry Lewes. Lewes helped Eliot succeed in her writing by first helping her create a pseudonym. After working together for multiple years, Lewes and Eliot fell in love, but there was no way for Lewes to get out of his first marriage. George Lewes was married before Eliot, and since Lewes had no feelings for his wife, who just by chanced happened to live far away from them, was ready for a divorce. Though his wife was very unwilling to sign the papers, Lewes cared for Eliot and was willing to take the risk to be looked down upon by everyone (Bloom). In correspondence to Silas Marner, George Lewess character is portrayed by Godfrey Cass while George Eliot gives herself the character of Nancy Lammeter. Godfrey secretly marries Molly and bears a child with her. While Molly lives in a town far away from Raveloe, Godfrey tries to marry Nancy, but feels like he was being held back by Molly as if she were his conscience, just as Lewes and Eliot. Godfrey is ecstatic about Mollys death. He begins to think to himself and says, Is she dead? ... If she is I may marry Nancy; and then I shall be a good fellow in future (Eliot 98). Godfrey is too conscious about his upper class respect rather than doing the right thing for the girl he loved. Therefore, Eliot appropriated the important people in her life and the characters in her novel to show her real emotions in the novel.

Lastly her faith in God and her love affair with George Lewes, a married man, were two comparisons that were apparent between Eliots life and the novel. Eliot may have written Silas Marner, to let the reader know her experiences on marriage and religion. Like the novel and her life, religion was a big part of the time period. Though love and relationships were broken because of religion, some light came through the darkness, which exemplifies Godfrey and Nancys relationship. Eliot artfully exposes her purpose while including her personal experiences.

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