I wanted to read some George Elliott, since I had never read any of her books before. So I picked a really short one, Silas Marner, since I didn’t have a lot of faith in myself to finish something long, particularly since I was just reading it on my tablet.
I’m glad I read this one. Silas is a weaver who is bitter after he gets wrongly blamed for a theft. He leaves his home, goes to Raveloe, and collects and loves money. Until one day, his money is stolen. And a while after that, a young toddler girl with golden hair appears in his house. The girl replaces the money. Silas is happier.
That’s basically the plot. I actually keep thinking back on it a lot, because there was this quote in it that I like a lot:
The weaver’s hand had known the touch of hard-won money even before the palm had grown to its full breadth; for twenty years, mysterious money had stood to him as the symbol of earthly good, and the immediate object of toil. He had seemed to love it little in the years when ever penny has its purpose for him; for he loved the purpose then. But now, when all purpose was gone, the habit of looking towards the money and grasping it with a sense of fulfilled effort made a loam that was deep enough for the seeds of desire.
It made me think differently. Silas ended up loving money because he had no purpose. He lost his money; he needed a purpose. And he found Eppie, a little abandoned girl to take care of.
He was a selfless and loving father (unrealistically so, I think). And when he did get his money back, he didn’t care about it so much anymore.
My mom says that money is a tool to do things with. And it may give you a small amount of pleasure to look at a large number in the bank account or whatever, but it doesn’t bring happiness.
We should have a greater purpose in life, like children and family and doing good, and money is just a tool for these purposes. And I like that thought and I want to live more like I believe that. I get stingy sometimes. I’m working on it.
This book as strong moral undertones. It obviously has a moral of the story. A lot of older books do–they are actually able to explore moral themes and have a strong sense of right and wrong in them. Today’s books–not so much. People call you preachy and you just can’t get away with it quite as well. I wish we would have moral themes more.