‘People glorify all sorts of bravery except the bravery they might show on behalf of their nearest neighbours.’
An epic study of provincial life at a time when England was facing rapid industrialization and increasingly fluid social mobility, Eliot’s depiction of the small community of Middlemarch weaves an intricate web of different characters disparate lives as they strive to adapt to the changing world around them. Eliot was one of the first of her female contemporaries to write a novel that dealt with real-life issues and complex yet ordinary human life.
‘Our consciousness rarely registers the beginning of a growth within us any more than without us: there have been many circulations of the sap before we detect the smallest sign of the bud.’
Set in the agricultural town of Raveloe in the English countryside, Silas Marner is a tragic figure. Exiled from a religious community because of a wrongful accusation of theft, he works from day to day as a weaver, saving his money and living a lonely life as a recluse.
It is only when his money is stolen and a small orphan girl, Eppie appears in his life that Silas’s fortunes begin to change and he truly begins to learn what it means to regain his faith in life.