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How does Eliot present community in Silas Marner?  

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user3120320 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted February 25, 2013 at 10:04 PM via web

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How does Eliot present community in Silas Marner?

 

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted February 25, 2013 at 10:57 PM (Answer #1)

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Elliot describes Raveloe as a close-knit community where there are few secrets and people are suspicious of outsiders.

Elliot describes Raveloe as a place where “spinning wheels hummed busily in the farmhouses” and everybody knew everybody. 

…How was a man to be explained unless you at least knew somebody who knew his father and mother?To the peasants of old times, the world outside their own direct experience was a region of vagueness and mystery (ch 1)

Silas is not a part of the close-knit community.  In fact, Silar Marner’s weaving is seen as so strange in the community that he is suspected of devil worship.  Marner came from another village, and “unknown region called “North'ard.”, and in fact used to be a member of a cult-like religion.  As a result, he does not participate in the church services with the rest of the village.

Church is very important to Raveloe.  Silas would be a bigger part of the community and less suspected if he attended, because the church reinforces the social structure.

There's Tookey, he's a poor creatur, but he's got my tailoring business, and some o' my money in it, and he shall make a suit at a low price and give you trust, and then you can come to church, and be a bit neighborly… (ch 10, p. 43)

The community is very family-like.  Everyone knows everybody’s business.  There are few secrets, and the ones that there are (such as Godfrey’s underclass marriage) are very hard to keep.

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