In four remarkable years, George Eliot published in succession Scenes from Clerical Life (1858), Adam Bede (1859), The Mill on the Floss (1860), and Silas Marner. The last, a short novel or novella, is unlike the other works, for its narrative combines elements of myth—some critics have called it a fairy tale—with the otherwise realistic details of English country life centering on the rustic village of Raveloe. Certainly the novel can be understood as a moral tale. Its message, however sentimental to a modern reader, is unambiguous: True wealth is love, not gold. As a myth of loss and redemption, the novel concerns the miser Silas Marner, who loses his material riches only to reclaim a greater treasure of contentment. Silas comes to learn that happiness is possible only for the pure and self-sacrificing. Because of his love for Eppie, he is transformed, as if by magic, from a narrow, selfish, bitter recluse into a truly human, spiritually fulfilled man.
Also, Silas is pleased to receive the money that Dunstan had stolen. Ultimately, on a beautiful, warm, flawless day, Eppie and Aaron have a fairytale wedding, and Eppie tells Silas that she and her new husband will always be with him. Thus, being a vital fairytale characteristic, it is one of the reasons which may cause the book to lack credibility to some practical readers. Those who enjoy twisted endings, unexpected outcomes, or a more rational conclusion, may be very critical towards the ending of Silas Marner. It is clear that the story, Silas Marner contains many aspects of the fairytale and therefore lacks credibility to some readers. Realistic characteristics in Eppie are minimized due to her vastly apparent perfection and simplicity of a character, where she can sometimes be depicted as a princess in disguise. The story structure of fortuitous coincidence, the relationship between good and evil, and the happy ending makes the story very fable-like. Even though the story consists of realism, the fairytale aspects are prominent, and readers who prefer an abundant down-to-earth book, may not find Silas Marner to be of that sort.
GUIDE TO CRITICAL ESSAYS ON SILAS MARNER: 1
Internationale Bibliothek was a left-leaning publisher in Berlin from about 1920 to 1931. There is little information on the publisher or their English language series, the English Library. The series titles are all typical English language classics. The first title in the series, Eliot’s Silas Marner, was published in 1921, and the last, Macaulay’s Select Critical Essays, was published as #19 in 1923. Two more Macaulay titles were listed as “in preparation” but don’t seem to have been published. One title appears in WorldCat with a 1926 date (which may be a mistake or a reprint). The series may have been an attempt to grab some sales from the very popular paperbound (with a few hardcovers) English language titles sold throughout Europe (but not the UK).
GUIDE TO CRITICAL ESSAYS ON SILAS MARNER: 1. 1. SILAS MARNER: A STUDY IN TRANSITION by Shirley Galloway Writer’s thesis: * The story is not a fantasy but a