Victorian literature has become a traditional unit of study in schools through out the Western world. The issues within Victorian novels are both significant and insignificant to the students of today. One such Victorian novel is George Eliot’s “Silas Marner”. Through this novel it can be clearly observed that issues such as technology, progress and the issue of drug use hold both relevance and irrelevance to modern day students. The themes and issues relate to today’s students as the novel is set during the Industrial revolution and at the present we are at the beginning of the technological revolution, on the other hand the two revolutions are almost completely opposite. The theme of drug use within the novel is very relevant to today’s students, as drugs are now such a major part of society, however the use of drugs 143 years ago was completely different to the use of drugs at the present time. .
Progress and new technologies are always taking place in this fast changing world, whether it is during the Industrial revolution or the current technological revolution. In the novel “Silas Marner” George Eliot discusses many issues that were relevant to her time and continue to have relevance to today’s society. “Silas Marner” is set in England at the beginning of the Industrial revolution, as the story unfolds so does the revolution. People were leaving the small towns where the jobs were scarce and flocking to the cities to work in the new factories. Silas and Eppie observe a town affected by the revolution “. making their way through a great manufacturing town. Silas, bewildered by the changes thirty years had bought over his native place”. (Eliot, 1861: 177). The novel deals with physical and psychological problems of working in a machine dominated society and today we are facing a computer dominated society. More and more, computers are completing tasks that once only a human could complete.