Although set in the heart of rural England, in a place still untouched by industrial development or social upheaval, Silas Marner is no idyllic country tale. Eliot depicts village life good and bad: Silas’s suspicious neighbours are far from perfect and both the squire’s sons are deeply flawed characters. The hero himself is a naïve individual and – in his unhappiness – becomes a miser. But the long suffering Silas finds new meaning to life through the love for an orphaned child, and finally this gentle moral fable has a happy ending.
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