Silas Marner

How would you describe family ties at the red house?

chapter 8

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There is a decided lack of femenine influence. Godfrey has lived in the Red House his whole life without maternal guidance. His mother died before he knew her, and although this fact has been mentioned before, here we see for the first time just what this absence has rendered. There are no courtesies in conversation, no shared meal times. The Squire is wholly absorbed in his own life and his own petty grievances. His appearance is slovenly and disgusting, made more so by his haughty comportment. He treats his children more like tenants than like family, to be dismissed or ordered about or evicted. All of this, Eliot suggests, comes from lacking a nurturing mother figure.