Presentation Title

The Fabled Weaver: Reading Silas Marner as the Real Diary of George Eliot

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Constance Fulmer

Start Date

23-11-2019 8:45 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 9:00 AM

Location

Markstein 201

Session

oral 1

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

humanities_letters

Abstract

Mary Anne Evans, more commonly known as Victorian novelist George Eliot, defied 18th-century conventions through her bold, unorthodox lifestyle. Never attaining full acceptance from her loved ones for her ethical standpoints or relational decisions, Eliot used her writing as a daringly discreet means of redemption. This essay employs critical investigation of the text itself alongside the input of other scholars and excerpts from personal journals and letters to examine the adversity and transformation Eliot faced leading up to her composition of Silas Marner. I contend that Eliot vicariously achieves her own atonement through the fictional protagonist’s trials and ascendancy. Silas Marner, a lone weaver who has been rejected by his community under false accusations, lives in physical and emotional isolation that echoes the rejection Eliot faced for her appearance, ideologies, and relationships. Eliot’s unconventionality, discernable in everything from her illegitimate romantic union to her career as a writer in a male-dominated era, severed her from her family and her origins but eventually led her to spiritual redemption. Featured in Silas Marner is a similar sense of audacity and non-conformity. The bond and adoration shared between the unmarried Silas and his adoptive daughter Eppie challenges gender stereotypes and reflects Eliot’s confidence in the power of love over labels. I recognize and contemplate Eliot’s hardships and discrepancies and illustrate how she weaves these realities into her work for emotional release and fortitude. To what extent Eliot achieved self-reclamation through her writing remains unknown. And yet, one impact is certain: her boldness served as an igniting force in the ever-relevant movement to break away from tradition that cannot practice its promises.

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Nov 23rd, 8:45 AM Nov 23rd, 9:00 AM

The Fabled Weaver: Reading Silas Marner as the Real Diary of George Eliot

Markstein 201

Mary Anne Evans, more commonly known as Victorian novelist George Eliot, defied 18th-century conventions through her bold, unorthodox lifestyle. Never attaining full acceptance from her loved ones for her ethical standpoints or relational decisions, Eliot used her writing as a daringly discreet means of redemption. This essay employs critical investigation of the text itself alongside the input of other scholars and excerpts from personal journals and letters to examine the adversity and transformation Eliot faced leading up to her composition of Silas Marner. I contend that Eliot vicariously achieves her own atonement through the fictional protagonist’s trials and ascendancy. Silas Marner, a lone weaver who has been rejected by his community under false accusations, lives in physical and emotional isolation that echoes the rejection Eliot faced for her appearance, ideologies, and relationships. Eliot’s unconventionality, discernable in everything from her illegitimate romantic union to her career as a writer in a male-dominated era, severed her from her family and her origins but eventually led her to spiritual redemption. Featured in Silas Marner is a similar sense of audacity and non-conformity. The bond and adoration shared between the unmarried Silas and his adoptive daughter Eppie challenges gender stereotypes and reflects Eliot’s confidence in the power of love over labels. I recognize and contemplate Eliot’s hardships and discrepancies and illustrate how she weaves these realities into her work for emotional release and fortitude. To what extent Eliot achieved self-reclamation through her writing remains unknown. And yet, one impact is certain: her boldness served as an igniting force in the ever-relevant movement to break away from tradition that cannot practice its promises.