The New Student's Reference Work/Silas Marner
Silas Marner, a story of humble life by George Eliot (1861), considered by many her finest work. To quote her own words, "the story sets forth the good influences of pure, natural, human relations." Silas, the linen-weaver of Rayeloe, wrongly accused of theft, leads an isolated, miserable life, his one treasure, the savings of years, being stolen by the squire's son. In its place a little child, Eppie, strays into his cottage and fills his life with joy. Her influence drew him into the stream of the village-life, and he became a natural man again. There is a minor theme in the life of Godfrey Cass, a type of the deterioration of character. This contrast with the regeneration of Silas Marner forms the center around which the author weaves much of the details of the simple village-life. The story is a good moral tonic aside from its specific teachings.