Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Book Review: Silas Marner

Silas Marner by George Eliot

Rating: PG

Recommended for: Ages 15 and up (interest level)

Embittered by a false accusation, disappointed in friendship and love, the weaver Silas Marner retreats into a long twilight life alone with his loom. . . and his gold. Silas hoards a treasure that kills his spirit until fate steals it from him and replaces it with a golden-haired founding child. Where she came from, who her parents were, and who really stole the gold are the secrets that permeate this moving tale of guilt and innocence. A moral allegory of the redemptive power of love, it is also a finely drawn picture of early nineteenth-century England in the days when spinning wheels hummed busily in the farmhouses, and of a simple way of life that was soon to disappear.

When I read this book for school I didn't really know what it was about or what to expect. The descriptions don't really tell what the story is about, so I waited for more than half the book for the child to come into the story. I really liked it and there were some times where I wanted to keep reading.

Technical: 4/5

It did not have as much wordiness as many classics do and it was easy to find the story within the book. There was one chapter that was boring for a good portion of it, but it was the only chapter like that. They were not the easiest characters to connect to, but you could still feel for them. It did jump to some backstory and then several years later, but the timeline was easy to keep track of.

Setting: 4/5

The story is set in the town of Raveloe, where the people do not really like strangers. Silas is from a city but I don't remember it ever being named. There was nothing that seemed to be out of place in the setting and the setting worked well for the story.

Plot: 4.5/ 5

It does not have the most unique plot, but it is done in an interesting way. A good portion of the story follows Godfrey, who is the son of the Squire. Godfrey is being threatened by his brother with blackmail. Godfrey causes himself trouble by trying to live two lives and to keep others from knowing about a secret marriage. From the reader's point of view, there is not much mystery as to where the child came from.

Characters: 5/5

The characters are flawed. Silas becomes obsessed with his money after he has lost everything else. Godfrey tries to avoid dishonor and focuses on what he wants then and not thinking of how he might regret it later. There are other characters too, one in particular having a lot of problems. The characters grow in the story and they are different at the end than how they were at the beginning of the story. There was one thing that I'm a little confused on how it came about, since one character involved was opposed to the matter and then it skips and the thing has then happened.

This book has a mostly happy ending, though some things are left unanswered in the characters' lives but it was mostly concluded. I would recommend this book especially if you like classics.

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