In Silas Marner, what are the weaknesses as a father of Squire Cass?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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A prominent Raveloe landowner, Squire Cass does not parent his sons in a consistent manner. For the most part, he is lenient and neglectful, frequenting the Rainbow where he socializes and provides his opinions there, but when his ire is raised, he is obstinate and unyielding. These traits cause the tenants on his land and his two sons to fear his wrath.

With a sense of superiority that is far out of proportion because he lives in the rural community where there is no one superior to him in social class, Squire Cass becomes excessively self-assured, and autocratic. Yet, he is rarely reproached even though "his sons had turned out rather ill." Nevertheless, one condition for which Squire Cass is criticized is the fact that "he had kept his sons at home in idleness" and they were not assigned any jobs on his land to oversee. And, because they are idle, the find themselves in trouble. Both Godfrey and Dunstan drink too much, in addition, Godfrey has married a lower class woman who is an addict and mother of his child, and Dunstan gambles and finds himself in debt. But, their father does not really know what and with whom his sons are involved.

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