Please provide a critical analysis of Silas Marner.

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enotechris eNotes educator| Certified Educator

George Eliot (1819-1880) published Silas Marner in 1861, and tells the story of a man who was banished from his hometown (Lantern Yard) after being falsely accused of a theft.  He makes his life in a new village (Raveloe) as a weaver, becomes wealthy in doing so, but remains isolated from the other villagers. His one solace in life at this time is to count his money, which he keeps hidden in the floor underneath his loom.  One night, he is robbed, but the robbery changes the hard view of the villagers of him as a miser and hermit into something a bit more sympathetic, that Silas is a victim.  On a snowy night a child (Eppie) wanders into his cottage, her mother having died in the snow just outside.  In raising his adopted daughter, Silas begins to reintegrate into village life and become accepted by his fellow villagers.  Near the end of the tale, the money that had been stolen many years before is rediscovered as well.  The story is thus one of redemption. Silas is at first an outcast, but becomes a respected member of the community.  He at first loses his position and money, but regains both. His social isolation changes when he becomes father to Eppie, and in so doing finds that he is connected to others in the village.