In Silas Marner's Chapter 11, what are some specific details about appearance, attire, and atmosphere at the New Year's Eve party?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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A great example of the atmosphere of the New Year's Eve party comes when Nancy Lammeter arrives and enters the house of Godfrey Cass, as it perfectly captures the sense of eager anticipation and excitement surrounding the burgeoning relationship between Godfrey and Nancy and the gossip that must have accompanied her arrival:

There was a buzz of voices through the house, as Miss Nancy entered, mingled with the scrape of a fiddle preluding in the kitchen...

Note the onomatopoeia in the phrase "buzz of voices" that helps to enact the excitement of the assembled crowds as they see Nancy enter the house and also helps convey the intense topic of discussion that she was. The other sounds, of the fiddle in the kitchen, also help to emphasise the festival and the anticipation of the dancing that is to follow. Eliot clearly presents this New Year's Eve party as a very important social event that is not only of significance for the whole community of Ravenloe but also personally very significant for Nancy herself, as she comes to believe that her future will be decided during the evening.


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