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George Eliot’s "Silas Marner": How a Man’s Life is Influenced By his Environment
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Silas Marner. George Eliot. Letters to his son [Christmas Summary Classics]. The Earl Of Chesterfield. Henry James, Jr. Why Go to College.
Main Issues in "Silas Marner" by George Eliot: [Essay Example], words GradesFixer
Modern Fiction. Silas Marner [Christmas Summary Classics]. George Eliot: The Novels. Mike Edwards. Critical Miscellanies Vol 3 Of 3. John Morley.
David Carroll. Pauline Nestor. Oksana Lesovaja. Mathilde Blind. The Abasement of the Northmores Gender Relations in Frances Burney's 'Evelina'. Martin Boddenberg. Silas should not be juxtaposed to Abraham since he not only failed to endure in the face of uncertainty but also sank into despair of weakness for fifteen years. It maybe provokes this contention that his love for Eppie is not germane to religious faith. The angel has been domesticated into a child, but the sense of the wonder and the miracle remains.
The initial choice of the ethical life is something that purifies, matures, and unifies the personality. Through love and acceptance of the responsibility to bring up a child he reclaims his solid place as a true moral person in Raveloe.
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Godfrey Cass, the elder son of a landowner in the Rainbow, is replete with sense of guilt as he secretly married a low-birth girl Molly. So much entangled with his past that he seeks refuge in Nancy for a remedy of forgetfulness. Here again the process of self-forgetting is at work. Godfrey seeks recourse to Nancy not only to suppress his past but also to lose individuality. He cannot accept the responsibility of his action, the freedom and the will.
The narrator does not allocate so many a passage to Dunstan to assess his sphere of existence, but for sure he is regarded neither an ethical person nor a religious one. He is a mere hedonist driven by pleasure principle, the overriding force of aesthete. To take the persona of an aesthete does not denote that aesthete is necessarily vicious, but to lead life frivolously and not to bind to any pole of pre-defined morality. Aesthetic life per se excludes any yardstick of morality.
It is the notion that the good life can be defined without reference to good and evil, right and wrong. It should be noted that he is not a sophisticated aesthete like musicians or painters who seek to refine their tastes.
Dunstan stands at the lowest rung of aesthetic sphere. Godfrey is well placed in ethical stage of life, best shown in his anxiety over his secret marriage to Molly since he, as a son of Esquire, has violated social mores of his community. An individual who opts for the ethical morals is already perceived as a member of his society awash with institution and practices.
Being a member of a society reflects the denotation of assimilations of favorable rules and impositions. Being an ethical person, an individual conforms to the practices and norms of his community. On the contrary, Godfrey not only surreptitiously married a girl much inferior to his rank but also in the process of novel conceals his past from his wife, Nancy and evades the responsibility of his action. Therefore it is double- sided; breaking social custom of his community thus one step reversing in his stance as a respectable son of esquire and breaking with his own past to forget his anxiety over his fault.
An ethical person lives according to mores of his community and accepts the responsibilities of his deeds.
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Consequently this has two facets. He remains a respectable member of his society through concealing his wrongdoing but at the expense of anxiety and at the same time he fails to be a true moral individual denying his own existence. This causes the blurring of boundaries between sincerity, true ethicality and a mere patina of respectability.
Again the irony of life is at work since mere appearance and the truth is blurred and people are always judged by their appearance. Favorable Chance, I fancy, is the god of all men who follow their own devices instead of obeying a law they believe…… let him neglect the responsibilities of his office and he will inevitably anchor himself on the chance that thing left undone may turn out not to be of the supposed importance. Rather than admitting his wrongdoing and the corollary of his action, he simply evades it.
To neglect not only what morality bears upon but trying to slip his past into oblivion is the greatest moral error of Godfrey.