George Elliot shapes and reshapes the readers response to the character Sills Manner George Elliot, writer of Sills Manner, published in 1861, shapes and reshapes the readers’ response to the character Sills Manner through the opinions his Ravel neighbors have of him in the events that occur. This is achieved through the suspicious and fearful attitudes towards him at the start of the novel, compared to the growing friendships that occur towards the end. Each of these attitudes alters the reader to feel the way Sills does in each situation, which changes as each event occurs.
The start of the novel orators Sills to be an outcast to his fellow neighbors, one of a mysterious and suspicious nature, which triggers a sense of sympathy and pity for Sills from the reader. This is due to the fact that the community of Ravel does not understand Sills’ past, yet the reader does. This is achieved through the narrator’s description Of Sills’ life, which shows the reader both the perspective of his neighbors as well as Sills’ point of view.
The harsh view his neighbors have of him in comparison to the readers knowledge of Sills’ past, create the readers response to be respectful and sympathetic to Sills. For example, George Elliot uses the simile, “eyes set like a dead man” to emphasis the harsh and judgmental tone his community has against him through allowing the reader to imagine the horror of a dead man. He then uses the description, “of exemplary life and ardent faith” as a juxtaposition to allow the reader to feel pity for Sills, since the reader knows that the residents see Sills as a dead man, when in reality he is a “bright soul. Ultimately, the views of his Ravel neighbors alter the opinion the reader has on Sills due to the knowledge the reader has of his past. When Sills’ none is stolen and he starts opening up to the residents of Ravel, George Elliot reshapes the reader’s response to Sills to feel more proud and happy for him, despite him losing his money. This is because Ravel community is finally realizing what Sills is really like, and are finding a connection with him. It somewhat makes the reader proud of Sills as he is finally opening up.
This is evident when George says, “This strangely novel situation of opening his trouble to his Ravel neighbors, of sitting in the warmth of a hearth not his own, and feeling the presence of faces and voices which were his nearest remises of help, had doubtless its influence on Manner, in spite of his passionate preoccupation with his loss”. Elliot uses the symbolism of Sills finally sharing a hearth that is not his own. His hearth is a symbol for love, care and warmth, and Sills finally not depending on himself for everything, but having friends to lean on when things get tough.
This symbolism emphasizes to the reader the happiness and comfortableness that Sills is feeling as he is developing new relationships and moving on from his old life. This makes the reader feel proud and less worried for Sills, which is George Elitist’s intention. Once Sills has finally become accepted into the community, he starts contributing to the community, and one way is through the adoption of Pipe. George makes the reader respond in happiness to Sills’ new love, and relief to know that he has found something to replace the material object of money.
Through this the reader witnesses a greater growth within Sills, which makes the reader feel joy for him. George Elliot uses the metaphor, “Our consciousness rarely registers the beginning of a growth within us any more than without us: there have been many circulations of the sap before e detect the smallest sign of the bud. ” The metaphor has very positive and hopeful connotations and talks about the concept of rebirth. This may symbolism the changing of Sills from once a person who knew no other love than money, to a new and improved person who feels love and warmth.