Like her other novels, too, the work is meticulously realistic in many aspects of its dialogue, description, and characterization. Unlike most of her novels, however, Silas Marner is very short, with an almost geometrically formal structure, and its plot relies upon some rather improbable incidents. The old-fashioned rural setting is important as a frame; its cultural remoteness from the world of the reader gives it the archaic simplicity and uncontested credibility of a fable or fairy tale.
Wednesday, March 03, Psychological Contexts I'd read in quite a few places that Eliot incorporated psychology into her writing, but before I read an article by Peggy Fitzhugh Johnstone, I wasn't entirely sure which elements of the novel fell into the category of 'psychology.
I doubted that she had.
After reading this artcle, however, I realize that critics aren't just referring to these small sections when they talk about psychology in Eliot's writing. In Silas Marner, they are, in fact, referencing Eliot's very accurrate description of Silas' development of obsessive-compulsive disorder OCDwhich, according to Johnstone, fits models described by Frued and Otto Fenichel.
As soon as I saw the word obessessive-compulsive, the scenes of Silas weaving and counting his money came to mind. Eliot's model goes into far more precise detail than I knew regarding the disorder.
She describes a mechanism by which the "compulsion to repeat" was brought on by Silas' first traumatic experience that is in line with Freud's studies. Later in the book she relays how Silas demonstrated a "fear of agressive impulses," which is commonly associated with OCD.
Finally, even Silas' "cure" fits in with modern knowledge of OCD. Fenichel's work suggested that another traumatic or suprising experience could break someone out of compulsive behavior. The combination of losing his gold and finding Eppie did just that for Silas. I was really impressed by all that, but once again I wondered how Eliot could have possibly known so much about OCD that she was able to write this type of description.
Fortunately, Johnstone answered this question as well. It goes back to the fact that much of Eliot's writing was based on her life. By looking back at Eliot's life and reading descriptions of her written by others, Johnstone surmised that Eliot herself experienced OCD and was thus able to write about Silas' case using her knowledge of her own disorder.
It's certainly an interesting twist on things. That being said, I'd like to point out a random little quote that really stuck out to me. I was looking back through the book for some good examples of themes and such and I found this passage in chapter 5: I can't find the exact quote right now from Rand, but it's something she uses to describe the relationship between Roark and Dominique.
It's strange to think that two things so different, the monotony of weaving and the passion of Roark and Dominique could be described using the same language. While I'm on this rather long tangent, I'd also like to point out another weird similarity between Eliot and Rand. While Eliot began the use of psychology in writing and was called "the embodiment of philosophy in fiction" by Oscar Wilde, Rand's works also have a philosophical basis--objectivism.
Now back to semi-relevant things. Natalie talked a bit in her last post about how Silas came back into society and such at the end of the book and accepted convention. That bit of the plot seems to relate to something interesting I read about early criticism of Eliot's writing.
It appears that, initially, critics didn't think the plots of Eliot's books were rooted in her life at all, which is obviously wrong.
This Silas coming back into society thing is a perfect example.
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Eliot herself essentially left the church after falling in with a pretty radical group, which included Charles Bray and his brother-in-law Charles Hennell. Thus she left societal conventions early in her life, leaving the church at the same time.
Soon after this, Eliot entered a common law marriage, trying on even more societal taboos.Like most of George Eliot’s novels, Silas Marner is set in the rural England of the author’s childhood memories. Like her other novels, too, the work is meticulously realistic in many aspects of its dialogue, description, and characterization.
Essay A document organized in paragraph form that can be long or short and can be in the for of a letter, dialogue, or discussion.
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The Triangular Silas Marner Essay - The Triangular Silas Marner As a result of betrayal, Silas Marner of George Eliot's so titled novel becomes a man in body without incurring any of the duties normally associated with nineteenth century working class adults.
The Triangular Silas Marner - The Triangular Silas Marner As a result of betrayal, Silas Marner of George Eliot's so titled novel becomes a man in body without incurring any of the duties normally associated with nineteenth century working class adults.
To fall through the print on a page, like Alice tumbling down the rabbit hole, into a real and convincing world is an experience not to be missed. A love triangle. Tabloid City Hamill, Pete The death of a tabloid. The Widower’s Silas Marner Eliot, George A child brings hope.
Howard’s End Forster, E. M. A world of kindness contrasts.