Silas Marner by George Eliot

Title:  Silas Marner

Author:  George Eliot

Paperback:  218 pages

Publisher:  Watermill Press

Publish Date:  1983

ISBN:  0893759961

Miscellaneous:  Mary Ann Evans was born in Warwickshire, England on November 22, 1819.  Under the name of George Eliot, she wrote several novels including Adam Bede, The Mill on the Floss, and  Middlemarch.  George Eliot died in London on December 22, 1880.

Unlike the gold which needed nothing and must be worshiped in close-locked solitude – which was hidden away from the daylight, was deaf to the song of birds, and started to no human tones – Eppie was a creature of endless claims and ever-growing desires, seeking and loving sunshine, and living sounds, and living movements; making trial of everything, with trust in new joy, and stirring the human kindness in all eyes that looked on her.  The gold had kept his thoughts in an ever-repeated circle, leading to nothing beyond itself, but Eppie was an object compacted of changes and hopes that forced his thoughts onward, and carried them far away from their old eager pacing towards the same blank limit…  The gold had asked that he should sit weaving longer and longer, deafened and blinded more and more to all things except the monotony of his loom and the repetition of his web; but Eppie called him away from his weaving, and made him think all its pauses a holiday, reawakening his senses with her fresh life, even to the old winterflies that came crawling forth in the early spring sunshine, and warming him into joy because she had joy.

And when the sunshine grew strong and lasting, so that the buttercups were thick in the meadows, Silas might be seen in the sunny mid-day, or in the later afternoon when the shadows were lengthening under the hedgerows, strolling out with uncovered head to carry Eppie beyond the Stone Pits to where the flowers grew, till they reached some favorite  bank where he could sit down, while Eppie toddled to pluck the flowers, and make remarks to the winged things that murmured happily above the bright petals, calling “Dad-dad’s” attention continually by bringing him the flowers.  Then she would turn her ear to some sudden bird-note, and Silas learned to please her by making signs of hushed stillness, that they might listen for the note to come again:  so that when it came, she set up her small back and laughed with gurgling triumph.  Sitting on the banks in this way, Silas began to look for the once familiar herbs again; and as the leaves, with their unchanged outline and markings, lay on his palm, there was a sense of crowding remembrances from which he turned away timidly, taking refuge in Eppie’s little world that lay lightly on his enfeebled spirit.

As the child’s mind was growing into knowledge, his mind was growing into memory:  as her life unfolded, his soul, long stupefied in a cold narrow prison, was unfolding too, and trembling gradually into full consciousness.

Silas Marner by George Eliot, pages 149-151

Silas Marner by George Eliot tells the story of the socially withdrawn weaver.  Once in love and a vibrantmember of society, Silas was betrayed by his best friend, who framed him as a thief who stole church money in order to steal Marner’s fiance.  Silas leaves the land where he has always lived and moves to the southern English country communtity of Raveloe, a town that is far out of the way of the main roads and therefore has retained its simpler, pastoral beliefs and ways.

For fifteen years Silas works at his loom, usually sixteen hours a day, seven days a week, in pursuit of his only companion,  the gold guineas he receives as pay for his work, and shuns all society.  However, when he falls victim to a robbery that separates him from his 270 pounds that he had hoarded over the years, he begins a journey of reclamation and healing.  The arrival of Eppie, the gold-haired girl he, at first, mistakes as his returned gold, slowly reawakens feelings of faith, trust and love within him.

 But… can it be meant to last?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I vaguely remember reading Silas Marner in high school as part of the advanced English Honors program.  As I read through this a second time, I remembered why.  Eliot’s language is slow and thick, at times mind-numbingly so, and some of the descriptions of the society of a bygone era drug on and on with the inane details of gowns and cows and ghosts and blah blah blah.  I found myself wishing for a good Austen novel.  And now I’m not nearly as convinced I want to crack open Middlemarch, a book at least three times the length also by Eliot.

I did, however, love the story itself.  I felt such sympathy and excitement for Silas as I followed him through all his heartaches and then as rejoiced with him as Eppie, the orphaned child who came into his life by chance, becomes the salvation of his humanity and restores all that he once lost.

A few years ago, Hollywood modernized this story in a movie starring Steve Martin as Silas.  The movie is “A Simple Twist of Fate,” and I recommend it to anyone interested in the story (don’t post hate comments for this, but I’d rather watch the movie than read the book any day!).  Of course, the movie is not a substitute for the book as an assignment for school, but could be watched AFTER you’ve read it. 😉

Obviously, Silas Marner by George Eliot is a literary classic and therefore has merit, but it’s definitely not my favorite classic.  I give Silas Marner 3 out of 5 stars.

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The Sunday Salon – DEATH to Mr. Manners!

The Sunday Salon.com

Good Morning All!! Happy Sunday, and whatnot. I fell asleep with the TV on CNN and had some very weird dreams. Something about the book Daddy Long Legs, how that got in there I don’t know, along with sitting pool side in Beijing watching Phelps win the 8th gold medal, I doknow how that got in there… it’s only on every five minutes! mixed together with Obama, McCain, housefires and hurricanes to make some weird unconscious cocktail of imagination.

BERNIE MAC died? I just happened to glance over at the TV and just found out. I really love Bernie Mac’s comedy. Guess Who? is one of my favorite comedies, and I love the Bernie Mac show where he’s taking care of his niece and nephew. And I guess Isaac Hayes died, as well. Crap! I need to at least watch the news more.

Chocolate prices is on the rise. That sucks. But I’ll have to say what the smokers say… If it get up to $1.00 a bar, I quit eating it! and then still buying chocolate when it’s $2.50 a bar. Chocolate and books…. they are my crack!

My Friday-Fillinsthis week sparked a bit of interest. It seems you can’t say you intensely dislike your neighbor and suggest we all dress up like my neighbor so we can create mayhem in his (and her) image without getting a couple comments of laughter and curiosity, as well as a few who understand. So I thought I’d explained a little more about the joy and rapture I feel NOT! about my friendly cough next-door neighbors.

When they moved in I said hi and was friendly, and I gave them some tomatoes from my garden and some baked goodies. A few weeks later, Mr. Manners knocked on my door at 10 o’clock at night demanding I turn down my TV. Their grandkidstore up my yard, left their toys and stuff in the grass which made my lawn mower happy, and even played on my front porch with my kids’ stuff when we weren’t home. Mr. Manners made a vague threat he was going to kill my cat by locking him up in his garage and leaving him there for a couple weeks. Last year, when I was walking Missy, our mini rat terrier, he whistled to her in a friendly way, and she went happily to him… after all, every human loves her and has always been good to her. Suddenly he started chucking rocks at her, cussing her out and threatening to kill her if she ever stepped in his yard again. He cussed out my oldest daughter because she was standing too close to his POS van… she was a yard and a half away from it!

A couple weeks ago, Maggie had a lemonade and cookie stand to make money to go to our local amusementpark and asked my neighbor’s grandson if he wanted some. When he went to ask, Mrs. Manners told him he couldn’t have anything she was selling and he wasn’t allowed to talk or play with Maggie and she didn’t want Mags on her property. What? I gave them a box of homemade.. MY made.. cookies and goodies at Christmas, they didn’t die from them then, what gives my cooking cooties now? They were miffed about her out in from of the house hawking her goodies for sale, but then when Mags and I came out to go for breakfast at White House, it looked like their house threw up all over their front lawn. My kid was scum for having a lemonade stand, but here they are having a yard sale! I loudly told Maggie (loud enough for Mr. Manner’s to hear) she should set up her lemonade stand today so she could benefit from Mr. Manner’s yard sale traffic.

What makes matters worse, Mr. Manners happens to be my landlord’s maintenance man. So I have to let him in my house on occasion. The last time he came, Maggie answered the door, took one look at him, screamed in terror, slammed the door and ran to tell me he was at the door. Oh joy… I told him she shouldn’t have answered the door; she should have told me someone was at the door and let me get it. I don’t know if I told him she was scared of him or not.

So, that’s my neighbors. Feel free to wear a disguise that makes you look like them and go create madness and mayhem at the local 7-Eleven. 😀

A couple other things: My grandmother died on Thursday, so my presence on the blogs and ‘net may be a bit thin, particularly on Wednesday (which is the viewing) and Thursday (which is the funeral). The daily Booger factoids will still be posted, so continue to come by and comment, and I’ll put the entries in when I get home.

I don’t know if my little brother (he’s 32, not so little) is coming, and don’t know if I’ll have anyone staying with me in my home. I doubt my mom will. I’m about 90% certain she’ll choose to stay at a hotel, a room of her own and maid service as opposed to crashing here and cleaning up after all of us… which she will, no matter how much I say not to. If my brother and his two sons come up, he might stay with me if mom doesn’t pop for a hotel for them. And he’s a big tech nerd, so I’ll have to threaten to break his fingers if he tries to “improve” my computer. He’s always trying to get people to go Linux. I’m adamantly opposed for the sole reason that he’s so rabidly for it.

OH, and don’t forget to sign up to win that $10 Borders Gift Card! at Boogers and Book Bucks Giveaway!