Silas Marner

on 08 October 2010

Gradually the guineas, the crowns, and the half-crowns, grew to a heap and Marner drew less and less for his own wants, trying to solve the problem of keeping himself strong enough to work sixteen hours a-day on as small an outlay as possible.  Have not men, shut up in solitary imprisonment, found an interest in marking the moments by straight strokes of a certain length on the wall, until the growth of the sum of straight strokes, arranged, in triangles, has become a mastering purpose?  Do we not wile away moments of inanity or fatigued waiting by repeating some trivial movement or sound, until the repetition has bred a want, which is incipient habit?  That will help us understand how the love of accumulating money grows an absorbing passion in men whose imaginations, even in the very beginning of their hoard, showed them no purpose beyond it.

  • George Eliot

I don't know why I am consistently and frequently surprised by the brilliance of George Eliot.  I've had enough run-ins with her formidable mind that I ought to expect it by now, but again and again, I pick up one of her books to read and find myself having to set it back down again and sit back in order to absorb what she's just taught me. I am NOT one of those people surprised to recognize so much of our own society in that of 19th century novels.  The words we choose might change, but the issues and experiences remain the same.


Cel and JP said...

oh wow. I love reading something that drives me to think deeply. thanks :)