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Silas Marner
Silas Marner
by George Eliot
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Character Role Analysis

Silas Marner

Silas is our title character, and the major plot arc of the book concerns his story. But he's a strange protagonist. He's passive to the point of inertia, he's afflicted by trance-like fits, and he neither begins nor ends the book. And Godfrey is also a good candidate for protagonist, since we spend quite a bit of time with him. How much of a protagonist is Silas? If the root of the word "protagonist" is the Greek agon, for struggle or contest (which it is), then what contest can Silas said to be trying to win?

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