“…There’s nothing kills a man so soon as having nobody to find fault with but himself.” – George Eliot
Why I’m Reading this Book?
I’ve read Middlemarch by George Eliot and it’s a sprawling story with about 1000 pages , so when I read the author’s name, I was skeptical. But on further research I found it has about 250 pages and fairly small one , so I thought to give it a go.
Story is about a man named Silas, a weaver by profession, who because of some unfair incidents, loses his faith. With no family, friend or religion, he has nothing to live for, so he just starts existing. Day and night he weaves, without any thought to future, his needs are few and thus he starts accumulating wealth. Slowly, his money becomes his new faith. He clutches gold pieces so hard as to compensate for his lost faith. He won’t spend it, he would just look at it and feel happy.
That’s the only thing going for Silas, until misfortune strikes again and his money gets stolen. Bewildered by its loss, Silas seems on the verge of total collapse, when he finds an orphaned child. He adopts her, names her Eppie and slowly weaves a life around her.
Story progresses with some other characters like Village’s squire, his wife, his brother, Eppie’s background, thief identity and along with all this, the slow but steady transformation of Silas around Eppie.
Silas Marner, though a small story, carries a lot in it to ponder upon. Silas fall from faith to doubt is really heart wrenching. There is something about suffering in silence and Silas is a prime example of that. He doesn’t complain, he doesn’t cry, he doesn’t try to understand, he just can’t accept that a God can let it happen to him and so he stops believing.
But even in his disbelief, he is kind of punishing himself or is he punishing God for what he did to him? In fact in the absence of his faith, he becomes more fanatic. Day and night he weaves, at the cost of his sight and health. He has become his wheel and his wheel has become him. Due to his toiling, though considered eccentric and sometimes even diabolic, his work is in demand and he can easily earn his living.
But now, he starts getting attached to his money. And this starts the next fanatism of Silas, the miser one. We see him in his new faith, until this faith was also lost due to theft. But again he was supplied with a new interest in Eppie. He takes care of her like his own child. Though he doesn’t know much about child-rearing, he jealously guards his duties. Painstakingly he learns them and never regrets this.
In Silas, I see a ‘Forrest gump’ like obsession, who latches on to something and would not let go. His life is about obsession, first his faith, then his work, then money and then Eppie, but we see that he loses faith at first but progresses through different obsessions to ultimately gain it again.
This story is about faith, betrayal, love, obsession, suffering and I think above all God. As per me, story has a deep meaning in which we can see, that, though we think God abandoned us, he is always there and sooner or later, we see that. It’s a story of redemption where Silas through different difficulties, finally finds himself.
My Rating — 3
On the scale of: (1- Hate , 2- Neither like nor dislike, 3- Like, 4- Love, 5- Gaga)
Why anyone else should read this Book?
As I usually say, if a book is small and classic, it’s worth reading. This book is definitely very small.
Silas’s obsession is written very well. One can feel the anguish when his wheel is constantly turning. Although he speaks very less, through his actions, writer has painted a very grim picture. And that’s the part I really liked in the story.
Story is a feel-good. Although riddled with problems since beginning, Silas ultimately finds happiness and we cheer for him because we know he is well deserving for it.
That’s all my reasons are to read this book. If any of them resonates with you, give this book a chance.
Have you read it? Are you planning to? What is your opinion? Share them here. Till next time, Happy Reading Folks!!!