George Eliot- Silas Marner: Lecture & Tutorial


This is one of those amazing books that you cannot put down until you reach the end. And why? Because it deals so deeply, persuasively with the essence of what it is to be human: to have a deep abiding need for wholeness, for inner certainty, no matter what the deflections on this path. Silas Marner is trapped in circumstances, not of his own making, which have held his spirit, his essential nature, in prison, for over 16 years. Then there comes this extraordinary moment in his life in which the Gold of his material obsession gives way to the Gold of a young child who demands his attention and his care. This is the transformative event which George Eliot uses, like a mythic parable, to convey her appreciation, her understanding of what is needed to shift the stone-like weight of self-obsession into an openness, a joy, a gratitude that embraces the universe. What a wonderful, heart-warming book this is!!!



Blog topics for this week


In your own words explain what you sense is the real difference between the fictional worlds of George Eliot, Charles Dickens and Jane Austen.


Write a letter to any one of the following four characters telling them what you think of their choices in chapter 19 of the novel: Godfrey, Silas, Nancy and Eppie


Find a number of web resources for Silas Marner that help to give a sense of the wider context of this novel.


Describe a moment in your life where, like Marner’s discover of SOFT GOLD, you have been equally suprised into a totally new appreciation of things.



Describe a moment in your life where, like Marner you have been horrified, shocked by the loss of something that has been desperately dear to you. (In Marner’s case it was his gold)


Create your own topic building on any of the above topics or on any other aspect of this week’s work.

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