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She is a “centered” personality who counterbalances Godfrey’s lack of inner strength; her love for him unites her sensitive, affectionate nature with her deep moral principles.
In general, the unfolding of each story suggests the influence of a power or force of destiny beyond human understanding—something rather like Nemesis in Godfrey’s case, and something rather like Providence in Silas’.
If the metaphysical implications of go beyond the realm of earthly reality, the primary moral intent of the author is firmly grounded in human relationships.
In both stories theft is a pivotal event: Dunstan’s stealing of Silas’ gold complements William Dane’s taking of the church money.
Silas suffers unjustly but magnifies his misery by becoming a virtual hermit.
As is the case in her other novels, the bonds of love, sympathy, and fellow feeling are the highest good that one can truly know.
As such, they are redemptive in themselves and are the basis of George Eliot’s “religion of humanity.” Although she doubts the existence of God, she is assured of the existence of a sublime, collective goodness.Themes are simply ideas that Eliot develops in the course of the novel.It should be remembered, however, that what a good novel says is not detachable from the way it says it.Rather, she sees him as a type of erring humanity—a good-hearted but weak-willed young man who desperately wants to rewrite his past and enjoy a happy future with Nancy Lammeter.The role of Dunstan as a foil to Godfrey is important: Together, they represent a classic Cain-and-Abel, bad brother-good brother contrast.Even so, George Eliot critics have never been comfortable with the implication that somehow Eppie has been given to Silas by a benevolent providence in return for his lost gold.The question of the author’s stance is especially problematic in view of her own agnosticism.Unlike most of her novels, however, is very short, with an almost geometrically formal structure, and its plot relies upon some rather improbable incidents.Such elements reflect the author’s intent to deal with profound themes in the form of a fable.The various parallels and contrasts between the Silas and Godfrey stories show these respective halves of the novel to be formally related, like the panels of a diptych.Both Godfrey and Silas are living out the consequences of a past wrong, in which the one was the secret wrongdoer, the other the falsely accused victim.