Silas Marner: The Pastoral Novel and George Eliot"s Early Politics
Influenced by Nancy Henry"s new book on George Eliot"s politics, this paper is on the whole a re-interpretation of Eliot"s early pastoral novel, Silas Marner, which has been relatively neglected by critics in terms of political vision. This paper, divided into five parts, proposes how Eliot indirectly conveys through the novel her fear for radical politics, her nostalgia for the old order still existing in pastoral community and accordingly her wish for a new order based on the religion of humanity rather than political solution. To support this argument, this paper analyzes in a new light a variety of literary aspects, such as themes (especially, the work-ethic), use of plots (especially, the plot around Eppie), setting, characterization and narrative comments. And the conclusion is that Eliot"s political view at the early stage of her career, reflects her conservative political trend as a privileged class and accordingly, her human limitation despite her intelligence and moral aesthetics.
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