Setting of The Novel Silas Marner

Also Read

      The nature scenery in Silas Marner is a perfect and realistic picture of the English Midlands. Even though Raveloe cannot be located on the map, like Shepperton, Milby, Hayslope and St. Ogg’s the background definitely belongs to Warwickshire. The description of Raveloe, which immediately follows a survey of the linen weaver, Silas Marner, is highly pregnant with meaning and hints. The first impression is that of a rural setting which is fertile, comfortable, abundant, charming and pleasant. “Gradually a note of irony is introduced by the narrator into the account and the writer is lightly scornful of the sloth and prodigality of certain big families. The alienated Silas Marner is a strange figure in these rural Surroundings. The prosperous and congenial atmosphere of Raveloe is not able to wake up Silas from his apathy or contort him. George Eliot began her career with a loving attachment to the region in which her youth was passed. Her interest was in a particular locality—the English Midlands—which has a powerful pull on her imagination in the early novels, and she represents it with massive, wide-ranging detail, conjuring up a vivid sense of actual, concretely belt neighborhood. The Midland setting and the orderliness of existence within it, provide her with the background against which the conflicts and dramas of human life take place. Even in the simplest of provincial situations, life is revealed clearly, wholly and in depth. Even in her regional setting, “from time to time, dramas of a grandeur and intensity, truly Sophoclean, are enacted in the real, by virtue of the concentrated passions and closely knit interdependence of the lives therein”.

      George Eliot’s vivid and charming accounts of the Midlands are missed in her later novels where the setting is more sophisticated and urban.

Previous Post Next Post