Silas Marner

Love in Silas Marner 12th Grade

Show how the theme of love is shown in the novel Silas Marner.

Most literary discourse about Silas Marner accepts love as one of its key concerns. Any discussion of how love is ‘shown’ in the novel requires an examination of the role and function of love a a thematic idea. Since the plot resolution of the novel is primarily concerned with the achievement of purpose and moral reward, especially by the protagonist, any discussion of love inevitably centres around the means by which it enables an individual to be ‘redeemed’ or achieve purpose. Accordingly, this essay will discuss how love is shown by examining three key ideas. These are that unselfish love has the power to redeem an individual, that the lack of genuine love in religious and social structures poisons or reduces the power of these institutions, and finally that an unwillingness to act on the convictions of love leads ultimately to moral insufficiency.

The central focus of the novel, love, is shown by the link that Eliot draws between unselfish love and the prospect of achievement of individual purpose and moral worth. This is most clearly seen in the ‘redemption’ of Silas, which steadily progresses as he shows love and concern for Eppie. This transformation is...

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