Silas Marner Criticism

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Although there have been occasional complaints that the first part of the book is too gloomy and the second part too sentimental, Silas Marner has always been highly regarded by literary critics. Initial reviews were all positive. In a review published in The Times in 1861, E. S. Dallas praised the novel for its truthful portrayal of village life. He pointed out that although the characters were not idealized they were given dignity by the author's treatment of them:

The personages of the tale are common, very common people, but they are good and kind, hardworking and dutiful. . . . their lives are ennobled and beautified by their sense of duty, and by their sympathy with each other.

Many modern critics regard Silas Marner as a flawless work, although because it is only novella-length it is not regarded as Eliot's greatest novel. Critics have shown that the novel is far more...

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This section contains 268 words
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Silas Marner from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.