Wednesday, March 7, 2012



George Eliot

"Silas Marner, The Weaver Of Raveloe"

Sir Ben Kingsley

Alternate Earth

Multiversal Recastaway

From Wikipedia:
"Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe" is a dramatic novel by George Eliot. Her third novel, it was first published in 1861. An outwardly simple tale of a reclusive weaver, in its strong realism it represents one of Eliot's most sophisticated treatments of her attitude to religion.

For the plot summary, click here.

  • Silas Marner – a weaver and miser who is cast out of Lantern Yard by his treacherous friend William Dane, and accumulates a small fortune only to have it stolen by Dunstan Cass. Despite these misfortunes, he finds his faith and virtue restored by the arrival of young Eppie. (protagonist)
  • Godfrey Cass – eldest son of the local squire, who is being constantly blackmailed by his dissolute brother Dunstan over his secret marriage to Molly. When Molly dies, he feels relief, but in time realizes he must account for his deceit to those he has wronged. (deuteragonist)
  • Dunstan Cass – Godfrey's greedy brother with a penchant for alcohol and manipulation, and the real culprit in the theft of Silas's bag of gold.
  • Molly Farren – Godfrey's first (and secret) wife, who has a child by him. She dies in the attempt to reveal their relationship and ruin Godfrey, leaving the child, Eppie, to wander into Silas' life.
  • Eppie – child of Molly and Godfrey, who is cared for by Silas after the death of her mother. Mischievous in her early years, she grows into a radiant young girl devoted to her adoptive father.
  • Nancy Cass (nee Lammeter) – Godfrey Cass' second wife, a morally and socially respectable young woman.
  • Aaron Winthrop – son of Dolly, who marries Eppie at the end of the novel.
  • Dolly Winthrop – mother to Aaron; godmother to Eppie. Sympathetic to Silas.
  • William Dane – William Dane is Silas’ former best friend, who looked after and respected Silas in Lantern Yard. William ultimately betrays Silas by framing him for theft and marrying Silas’ fiancée Sarah after Silas is exiled from Lantern Yard.
  • Sarah – Silas' fiancée in Lantern Yard, who subsequently marries his treacherous friend William Dane.
From the source:
To the peasants of old times, the world outside their own direct experience was a region of vagueness and mystery: to their untravelled thought a state of wandering was a conception as dim as the winter life of the swallows that came back with the spring; and even a settler, if he came from distant parts, hardly ever ceased to be viewed with a remnant of distrust, which would have prevented any surprise if a long course of inoffensive conduct on his part had ended in the commission of a crime; especially if he had any reputation for knowledge, or showed any skill in handicraft. All cleverness, whether in the rapid use of that difficult instrument the tongue, or in some other art unfamiliar to villagers, was in itself suspicious: honest folk, born and bred in a visible manner, were mostly not overwise or clever--at least, not beyond such a matter as knowing the signs of the weather; and the process by which rapidity and dexterity of any kind were acquired was so wholly hidden, that they partook of the nature of conjuring. 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.

In the early years of this century, such a linen-weaver, named Silas Marner, worked at his vocation in a stone cottage that stood among the nutty hedgerows near the village of Raveloe, and not far from the edge of a deserted stone-pit. The questionable sound of Silas's loom, so unlike the natural cheerful trotting of the winnowing-machine, or the simpler rhythm of the flail, had a half-fearful fascination for the Raveloe boys, who would often leave off their nutting or birds'-nesting to peep in at the window of the stone cottage, counterbalancing a certain awe at the mysterious action of the loom, by a pleasant sense of scornful superiority, drawn from the mockery of its alternating noises, along with the bent, tread-mill attitude of the weaver. But sometimes it happened that Marner, pausing to adjust an irregularity in his thread, became aware of the small scoundrels, and, though chary of his time, he liked their intrusion so ill that he would descend from his loom, and, opening the door, would fix on them a gaze that was always enough to make them take to their legs in terror. For how was it possible to believe that those large brown protuberant eyes in Silas Marner's pale face really saw nothing very distinctly that was not close to them, and not rather that their dreadful stare could dart cramp, or rickets, or a wry mouth at any boy who happened to be in the rear? They had, perhaps, heard their fathers and mothers hint that Silas Marner could cure folks' rheumatism if he had a mind, and add, still more darkly, that if you could only speak the devil fair enough, he might save you the cost of the doctor. Such strange lingering echoes of the old demon-worship might perhaps even now be caught by the diligent listener among the grey-haired peasantry; for 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.

As rich as this production is, it still must be relegated to an alternate TV dimension. There had been a 1964 TV series based on the book starring David Markham and that must take precedence for Earth Prime-Time.


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