What is your opinion of Godfrey in Silas Marner?

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M.P. Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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The character of Godfrey is not meant to be liked. If he were perhaps Elliot would not have written him so weak and with a huge lack of initiative.  We may feel sorry for him for being so weak and for lacking so much initiative but at the same time we, as readers, would like to see him grow up through becoming tough rather than from getting a chance from providence to keep concealing the mistakes from his past.

Hence, the opinion of Godfrey is that he was very lucky and we can almost feel the relief of having ditched the bullet that was coming his way with Molly entering town. We also feel a bit angry that he still got away with it, because it is hard to be mad at Molly- what was her mistake? Being an opium fiend? Well, she was an unfortunate but Godfrey was not. And yet he got with her, got her pregnant, and married her probably for the thrill of doing something wrong.

Now she lays dead in the snow after trying to expose him, but it is hard to call that a defeat of evil vs. good.

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