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MonkeyNotes-Silas Marner by George Eliot
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Themes

George Eliot had a high regard for the novel as a type of literature. To her it was the golden book of life, which must exercise an ethical influence on the reader; therefore, her novels present Themes and teach about real life.

The primary theme of Silas Marner is the effect of human relationships on humanity. Love is a life-giving source. Its presence fills Silas' life and makes it meaningful. Silas' love for the orphan child becomes his salvation and restores his broken link with humanity. Even with Godfrey, it is the "sap of affection" provided by Nancy which stabilizes his life.

George Eliot believed that, "our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds." Her novels are expositions of this faith. Godfrey had always chased his desires at the cost of his duties. In the end his weakness brings its own punishment when his daughter refuses to live with him.

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HUMOR

George Eliot's characteristic humor is rustic like that of Thomas Hardy. In Silas Marner, she presents a happy, sheltered village. The intellectually circumscribed and simple-minded folks of Raveloe are a source of endless humor. The debate over choosing the constable to accompany Silas and the manner in which Silas' case is investigated is full of tongue-in-cheek humor. Eliot has used various other types of humor in the novel. Humor of situation can be seen when Eppie qualifies for the coal hole by sitting in the mud and using her boot as a bucket. Humor of character and speech can be seen at its best in the Rainbow Inn scene, especially in the discussion about ghosts.

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USE OF LANGUAGE

George Eliot has made use of Warwickshire dialect to give a regional flavor to her novels. The dialect spoken by her characters is not difficult to understand because she doesn't use many unfamiliar words.

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