Presentation on theme: "Reading and Writing Skills for Students of Literature in English: The Victorian Period Enric Monforte Jacqueline Hurtley Bill Phillips."— Presentation transcript:
Reading and Writing Skills for Students of Literature in English: The Victorian Period Enric Monforte Jacqueline Hurtley Bill Phillips
George Eliot (Mary Ann, or Marian Evans) rge_eliot_2_400w.jpg
Mary Ann Evans was born in Astley near Coventry. Her father, Robert Evans, was the Warwickshire estate agent at Arbory Park for the Earl of Lonsdale
Mary Anne Evans’s birthplace, South Farm Griff House, her childhood home ntry.co.uk/jpgl/c00014.jpg hplace_-_south_farm_-_arbury_project_- _gutenberg_etext_19222.jpg hire.gov.uk/Web/gra phics/graphics.nsf/gr aphics/Eliot+Child+h ome- medium/$file/Eliotchi ldhome_medium.jpg
She briefly became an Evangelical, favouring Jean Calvin's Doctrine of the Elect. John Calvin /john-calvin-portrait-by-titian1.jpg
1836 her mother died 1841 she and her father moved to Coventry where she met a group of free thinkers leading her to become strongly anti-religious. She briefly refused to attend Anglican Church. She kept house for her father until his death in A school in 1850s Coventry a893-29dcf3260fee/0b96e6c3-4f96-45a9-a893-29dcf3260fee.jpg
Wednesday the 30th May, 1849, the day her father died, Mary Anne wrote in her diary. "Where shall I be without my Father? It will seem as if a part of my moral nature were gone. I had a horrid vision of myself last night becoming earthly sensual and devilish for want of that purifying restraining influence." george_eliot_2.jpg
1849 Her father leaves her an annuity of £ she travels in Europe becomes assistant edior of the prestigious Westminster Review lives at 142, The Strand, London 1854 translates Feuerbach's Essence of Christianity. Sets up home with George Lewes, one of the editors Westminster Review 1857 Scenes of Clerical Life
Novels 1859 Adam Bede 1860 The Mill on the Floss 1861 Silas Marner 1863 Romola 1866 Felix Holt, the Radical Middlemarch Daniel Deronda u.ac.jp/~matsuoka/GIF- Eliot-1.gif
1878 Lewes dies 1880 Marries John Walter Cross, dies, and buried next to Lewes in Highgate Cemetery George Henry Lewes massey.org.uk/holyoake/images/george_ henry_lewes_2.jpg ns/5/53/Eliot_George_grave.jpg
“She had a low forehead, a dull grey eye, a vast pendulous nose, a huge mouth full of uneven teeth and a chin and jawbone qui n'en finissent pas... Now in this vast ugliness resides a most powerful beauty which, in a very few minutes steals forth and charms the mind, so that you end, as I ended, in falling in love with her. Yes behold me in love with this great horse-faced bluestocking.” Henry James uv.es/ankay /georgeeliot.jpg
Silas Marner 1861
“In the days when the spinning-wheels hummed busily in the farmhouses--and even great ladies, clothed in silk and thread-lace, had their toy spinning-wheels of polished oak--there might be seen in districts far away among the lanes, or deep in the bosom of the hills, certain pallid undersized men, who, by the side of the brawny country-folk, looked like the remnants of a disinherited race.” SM Ch. 1 Who are these men and what is their connection to the ladies’ spinning wheels? Weavers
When is Silas Marner set? When were “the days when the spinning-wheels hummed busily in the farmhouses”? In what year, more or less, does it begin?
The Industrial Revolution
“In this way it came to pass that those scattered linen-weavers--emigrants from the town into the country--were to the last regarded as aliens by their rustic neighbours, and usually contracted the eccentric habits which belong to a state of loneliness.” SM Ch.1 Why were there emigrants from the town into the country? Machines had replaced the weavers in the industrial towns.
“You Gentlemen are Agreed to Beat down the Price of the Weavers. Work is already so Low They Cannot get A livelyhood like Almost any Other Trade...Youre Lives As Well as Our are Not Insured One Moment...Prepare your selves for A Good Bonfire at Both Ends At Each Your Dwellings...I May as well Dey [die] with a Houlter [halter] As Be Starved to Death” Letter from weavers to their employers in Newbury, 1787 Hibbert, Christopher. The English; a Social History London: Collins, p.478
The Combination Acts of 1799 and Made illegal the association of two or more people for the purpose of obtaining wage increases or improving working conditions. Offenders against the Acts could be sentenced to three months’ imprisonment...” Hibbert 480
“...it was nothing but right a man should be looked on and helped by those who could afford it, when he had brought up an orphan child, and been father and mother to her--and had lost his money too, so as he had nothing but what he worked for week by week, and when the weaving was going down too--for there was less and less flax spun-- and Master Marner was none so young.” SM Ch. 16. The countryside where Silas lives seems unaffected by industrialisation until he is older: “‘Fifty-five, as near as I can say, sir,’ said Silas.” SM Ch. 19.
In 1785 Edmund Cartwright patented the first power loom. in 1801, Glaswegian John Monteith built a weaving shed for 400 looms. Edmund Cartwright story/chapters/IR/images/ jpg
James Findlay's weaving mill in Catrine, Ayrshire, began operating in 1805 and more opened in Manchester, Stockport and Westhoughton in By 1818, there were 14 weaving mills in the Manchester region containing 2000 looms. Three years later, the total was 32 mills with 5,732 looms, a figure that had passed 10,000 by HS_6.jpg
Religion in Silas Marner
“…the rude mind with difficulty associates the ideas of power and benignity. A shadowy conception of power that by much persuasion can be induced to refrain from inflicting harm, is the shape most easily taken by the sense of the Invisible in the minds of men who have always been pressed close by primitive wants, and to whom a life of hard toil has never been illuminated by any enthusiastic religious faith. To them pain and mishap present a far wider range of possibilities than gladness and enjoyment...” SM Ch. 1. The religion of the country people
“His life, before he came to Raveloe, had been filled with the movement, the mental activity, and the close fellowship, which, in that day as in this, marked the life of an artisan early incorporated in a narrow religious sect, where the poorest layman has the chance of distinguishing himself by gifts of speech, and has, at the very least, the weight of a silent voter in the government of his community.” SM Ch. 1
“One of the most frequent topics of conversation between the two friends was Assurance of salvation: Silas confessed that he could never arrive at anything higher than hope mingled with fear, and listened with longing wonder when William declared that he had possessed unshaken assurance ever since, in the period of his conversion, he had dreamed that he saw the words "calling and election sure" standing by themselves on a white page in the open Bible.” SM Ch. 1 Predestination John Calvin ss.com/2008/10/john-calvin.jpg
“To adopt a child, because children of your own had been denied you, was to try and choose your lot in spite of Providence: the adopted child, she was convinced, would never turn out well, and would be a curse to those who had wilfully and rebelliously sought what it was clear that, for some high reason, they were better without. When you saw a thing was not meant to be, said Nancy, it was a bounden duty to leave off so much as wishing for it.” “…it's the will of Providence.” SM Ch.17 The Church of England also subscribes, in theory, to the doctrine of predestination.
from Article 17 of the 39 Articles of Religion of the Church of England: Of Predestination and Election. “Predestination to Life is the everlasting purpose of God, whereby (before the foundations of the world were laid) he hath constantly decreed by his counsel secret to us, to deliver from curse and damnation those whom he hath chosen in Christ out of mankind, and to bring them by Christ to everlasting salvation, as vessels made to honour.”
Non-conformists Non-conformists did not accept the organisational structure of the established Church of England, believing that all Christians are equal, and replacing priests by ministers.
John Wesley Methodism was started by John and Charles Wesley and George Whitefield as a movement within the Church of England in the 18th century. Non-conformist sects Many sects sprang up in the 17th century: Adamites, Baptists, Barrowists, Behmenists, Brownists, Familists, Fifth Monarchy Men, Free-will Men, Gindletonians, Muggletonians, Quakers, Ranters, Sabbatarians, Seekers cva.org/images/johnw esley.jpg
He was puzzled and anxious, for Dolly's word "christened" conveyed no distinct meaning to him. He had only heard of baptism, and had only seen the baptism of grown-up men and women. SM Ch. 14 How is Raveloe religion compared to that of Lantern Yard? Lantern Yard is more intolerant ges/sikakaneBaptism.jpg
"O father, I'm like as if I was stifled," said Eppie. "I couldn't ha' thought as any folks lived i' this way, so close together. How pretty the Stone-pits 'ull look when we get back!" "It looks comical to me, child, now--and smells bad. I can't think as it usened to smell so." Here and there a sallow, begrimed face looked out from a gloomy doorway at the strangers, and increased Eppie's uneasiness, so that it was a longed-for relief when they issued from the alleys into Shoe Lane, where there was a broader strip of sky. SM Ch.21 Is there any significance in this description of Silas’s old home? Lantern Yard is unhealthy and corrupt
George Eliot’s beliefs “Behind Silas Marner is her own translation, in 1854 as Marian Evans, of Ludwig Feuerbach’s Essence of Christianity (1841). This book was a vital contribution to the century’s ever-increasing humanization of religion as something naturally present in human life without formal dogmas. It was also part of the process that converted Marian Evans, Evangelical turned non-believer, into George Eliot, realist novelist, instead.” Davis, Philip. The Oxford English Literary History. Vol. 8 The Victorians. Oxford: OUP, p.147
Silas Marner as fairy tale “the mythic substitution of child for gold in a healing inversion of the Midas myth (where Midas unwittingly turns his little daughter into a gold statue) … The figure of Silas, bent and isolated, has overtones of Rumplestiltskin, another male weaver with a penchant for babies.” Beer, Gillian George Eliot Brighton: The Harvester Press, p abU/SPViCLOB- sI/AAAAAAAAAX4/22erghIht28/s40 0/rumplestiltskin.jpg
The Napoleonic Wars and the Economy Bonaparte ss.com/2008/12/napoleon.jpg
“It was still that glorious war-time which was felt to be a peculiar favour of Providence towards the landed interest, and the fall of prices had not yet come to carry the race of small squires and yeomen down that road to ruin for which extravagant habits and bad husbandry were plentifully anointing their wheels.” SM Ch. 3 Why is “war-time” referred to as “glorious”? Landowners did well out of the war
“And that fool Kimble says the newspaper's talking about peace. Why, the country wouldn't have a leg to stand on. Prices 'ud run down like a jack, and I should never get my arrears, not if I sold all the fellows up.” SM Ch. 9 Why is Squire Cass worried about peace? He will lose money
The Corn Laws which the farming industry imposed on the country in 1815 were not designed to save a tottering sector of the economy, but rather to preserve the abnormally high profits of the Napoleonic war-years, and to safeguard farmers from the consequences of their wartime euphoria, when farms had changed hands at the fanciest prices, loans and mortgages had been accepted on impossible terms. Eric Hobsbawm, Industry and Empire: The Birth of the Industrial Revolution New York: The New Press, 1999, p The Corn Laws
The Corn Laws stated that no foreign corn could be imported into Britain until domestic corn cost 80/- per quarter. The high price caused the cost of food to increase and consequently depressed the domestic market for manufactured goods because people spent the bulk of their earnings on food rather than commodities. The Corn Laws also caused great distress among the working classes in the towns. Most voters and Members of Parliament were landowners who benefited from the laws.
“The old gentleman had been talking with Godfrey about the increasing poor-rate and the ruinous times, and had not heard the dialogue between his daughters.” SM Ch. 17 “...by 1812 the annual expenditure on poor rates had grown from about 2 million pounds in 1780 to 8 million.” Hibbert 481 The cost of poor relief had increased by 75.5% during the French Wars , £5.3 million 1813, £8.6 million , £9.3 million
“His first intention was to hire a horse there and ride home forthwith, for to walk many miles without a gun in his hand, and along an ordinary road, was as much out of the question to him as to other spirited young men of his kind.” SM Ch. 4 Why won’t Dunstan walk along a road without a gun? People and Class Gentleman don’t walk except, perhaps, when they’re out shooting (hunting). Ben Marshall - Gentleman on Bay Hunter editions.com/dogs/dog2/dandh2/thm_thm_be nmarshallgentlemanonbayhunter1806.jpg
“…the glazier's wife, a well-intentioned woman, not given to lying, and whose house was among the cleanest in the village, was ready to declare, as sure as ever she meant to take the sacrament the very next Christmas that was ever coming, that she had seen big ear-rings, in the shape of the young moon, in the pedlar's two ears...” SM Ch. 8 Is George Eliot being sarcastic here? Probably. She is suggesting that a woman who keeps her house clean could not possibly lie. m/CelticCrescentMoonEarrings.jpg
“I've no opinion o' the men, Miss Gunn--I don't know what you have. And as for fretting and stewing about what they'll think of you from morning till night, and making your life uneasy about what they're doing when they're out o' your sight—as I tell Nancy, it's a folly no woman need be guilty of, if she's got a good father and a good home: let her leave it to them as have got no fortin, and can't help themselves. As I say, Mr. Have-your-own-way is the best husband, and the only one I'd ever promise to obey.” SM Ch. 11 Is Priscilla Lammeter’s view of men typical? Maybe. A woman needs a men like a fish needs a bicycle.
“…she would go in her dingy rags, with her faded face, once as handsome as the best, with her little child that had its father's hair and eyes, and disclose herself to the Squire as his eldest son's wife. It is seldom that the miserable can help regarding their misery as a wrong inflicted by those who are less miserable. Molly knew that the cause of her dingy rags was not her husband's neglect, but the demon Opium to whom she was enslaved,body and soul…” SM Ch. 12 Is George Eliot sympathetic towards Molly Cass?No A Bar at the Folies Bergere, by Edouard Manet m/yourdailyart/images/ manet2.jpg
Fatherhood “The Leigh Family” c George Romney
“As for the child, he would see that it was cared for: he would never forsake it; he would do everything but own it. Perhaps it would be just as happy in life without being owned by its father, seeing that nobody could tell how things would turn out, and that--is there any other reason wanted?--well, then, that the father would be much happier without owning the child.” SM Ch. 13 What kind of father is Godfrey Cass? How are other fathers portrayed in Silas Marner? “And that other child--not on the hearth--he would not forget it; he would see that it was well provided for. That was a father's duty.” SM Ch. 15
ParentsChild Squire CassGodfrey Dunstan Parents and Children in Silas Marner
“Godfrey was silent. He was not likely to be very penetrating in his judgments, but he had always had a sense that his father's indulgence had not been kindness, and had had a vague longing for some discipline that would have checked his own errant weakness and helped his better will.” SM Ch.9
Godfrey and MollyEppie Dolly and Ben WinthropAaron Mr LammeterPriscilla and Nancy SilasEppie Parents and Children in Silas Marner ParentsChild Squire CassGodfrey Dunstan
The Agricultural Revolution John Constable “The Stour- Valley with the Church of Dedham” 1814
"Why, that's the draining they've begun on, since harvest, i' Mr. Osgood's fields, I reckon. The foreman said to me the other day, when I passed by 'em, "Master Marner," he said, "I shouldn't wonder if we lay your bit o' waste as dry as a bone." It was Mr. Godfrey Cass, he said, had gone into the draining: he'd been taking these fields o' Mr. Osgood.“ SM Ch. 16 What is the result of the drainage? Duncan’s body is discovered with the gold
“The tankards are on the side-table still, but the bossed silver is undimmed by handling, and there are no dregs to send forth unpleasant suggestions: the only prevailing scent is of the lavender and rose-leaves that fill the vases of Derbyshire spar.” SM Ch.17 How has the Red House changed since Squire Cass died? It has been gentrified, a process lamented by many writers, such as William Cobbett. og.com/wp- content/uploads/2008/06/pew ter-tankard.jpg inderimages/d51934/d l.jpg Silver tankard Pewter tankard