Silas Marner

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Silas Marner Character Analysis

A weaver by occupation, Silas Marner’s move from Lantern Yard to Raveloe creates the back-story for the novel. In Lantern Yard, Marner was a devoted participant in the local church. He is near sighted and prone to strange fits in which he becomes still for a portion of time, after which he can never remember what has occurred. He was seen as a young man of great promise, but after being framed for a crime of thievery actually committed by his friend William Dane, Marner moves to Raveloe. Marner’s betrayal causes him to become withdrawn and socially awkward, focused solely on the gold he earns. He does not seek out others’ company, but commits himself fully to his weaving work. The villagers perceive him as strange due to his isolation, his fits, and his pale and quiet appearance. Marner is transformed from a miserly recluse into a loving and thoughtful father after he adopts Eppie, a young girl who appears on his hearth one night. He finds friends in Dolly Winthrop and her son Aaron, and regains interest in life and community through his love for Eppie.

Silas Marner Quotes in Silas Marner

The Silas Marner quotes below are all either spoken by Silas Marner or refer to Silas Marner. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Faith Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Dover Publications edition of Silas Marner published in 1996.
Chapter 1 Quotes

“…there is no just God that governs the earth righteously, but a God of lies, that bears witness against the innocent.”

Related Characters: Silas Marner (speaker)
Page Number: 9
Explanation and Analysis:

Silas Marner’s grim beginnings in Lantern Yard explain his move to rural Raveloe. In Lantern Yard, the young man was a respected and well-loved member of his community and congregation until he was accused of stealing church funds. His accuser was his closest friend William Dane. Despite this false accusation, Marner holds faith that God will reveal the truth. The church “draws lots,” a technique used to single out one individual, and Silas Marner is declared guilty. Marner’s faith is crushed by this outcome. He believes that the drawing of lots—a seemingly “chance” event—should be controlled by God to protect the innocent if He is a righteous God. It does not occur to Marner that the odds may have been manipulated against him by his suspicious friend.

Marner’s angry renouncement of God as “a God of lies” causes him to lose popularity among the congregation, who also believes him to be a thief. Effectively cast out from his community, Marner sees no choice but to find a new place to live. However, when he settles in Raveloe, he does not rejoin a community, but keeps to himself. His faith in God connected him to other humans. It gave him something to live for and made him happily seek fellowship with others, so without faith, Marner becomes a loner.

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Chapter 2 Quotes

His life had reduced itself to the functions of weaving and hoarding, without any contemplation of an end towards which the functions tended. The same sort of process has perhaps been undergone by wiser men, when they have been cut off from faith and love—only, instead of a loom and a heap of guineas, they have had some erudite research, some ingenious project, or some well-knit theory.

Related Characters: Silas Marner
Page Number: 15
Explanation and Analysis:

Isolated from his fellow human beings, Silas Marner’s life consists of working and hoarding his gold, but without any long-term goal in mind. The actions themselves consume him, and he covets his gold, not because he has dreams of things to buy or build, but because he takes satisfaction in the gold itself. This process is described as an unhealthy one. His life has been “reduced” from something better.

This passage also universalizes Marner’s experiences by commenting that this same process has been “undergone by wiser men” who have latched onto “some erudite research.” “Erudite” means “highly studied,” and so Eliot is here referring to scholars who have committed themselvesexclusivelyto research andstudy. This has isolated them from the world, a life they have chosen when they have been “cut off from faith and love.” This shows that faith and love are what connect humans to others. Without these things, one focuses intensely on isolating projects, be they research or labor.

Throughout the novel, Marner’s relationship with others in his community is key. He is ostracized from his community in Lantern Yard, and that separation from others is directly linked to a loss of both faith in God and faith in the goodness of other people. This passage highlights this cause and effect relationship: loss of love and faith leads to isolation. The novel demonstrates that the reverse is also true: finding love and faith connects an individual with others.

Chapter 4 Quotes

If the weaver was dead, who had a right to his money? Who would know where his money was hidden? Who would know that anybody had come to take it away? He [Dunstan] went no farther into the subtleties of evidence: the pressing question, "Where is the money?" now took such entire possession of him as to make him quite forget that the weaver's death was not a certainty. A dull mind, once arriving at an inference that flatters a desire, is rarely able to retain the impression that the notion from which the inference started was purely problematic. And Dunstan's mind was as dull as the mind of a possible felon usually is.

Related Characters: Dunstan Cass (speaker), Silas Marner
Related Symbols: Gold
Page Number: 30-31
Explanation and Analysis:

Dunstan arrives at Silas Marner’s cottage with a plan to ask the weaver for a loan because he has heard tell of the man’s wealth. When he arrives, however, the door is unlatched. Dunstan wonders if Marner could have slipped into the stone pits outside his hut, as the weather is so foggy. Immediately, his mind jumps from speculation about Marner’s death to questions about his money. This progression of thinking is here attributed to Dunstan’s “dull mind.” The narrator argues that a dull mind is inclined to latch onto an inference if this inference “flatters a desire.” In other words, if an inference, or guess, is made that seems favorable, the dull-minded thinker doesn’t stop to question the guess, but runs with that hypothetical situation. It is easy for Dunstan to forget that he only “guessed” Marner might be dead. The questions that follow from this guess help Dunstan justify taking the money.

This is an interesting moral dilemma. Dunstan is not acting in full awareness, as he doesn't take the money while certain that Marner is alive. Instead, he convinces himself of the reasonableness of taking the money, forgetting that Marner might not be dead. This is attributed to his “dull mind” which is “as dull as the mind of a possible felon usually is.” This shows a consistency among a type of person—a possible felon—someone who might be capable of small scale crime and cruelty, but isn’t always a criminal. In other words, Dunstan’s weakness inclines him to criminal activity, if the opportunity presents itself.

Chapter 5 Quotes

Was it a thief who had taken the bags? Or was it a cruel power that no hands could reach, which had delighted in making him [Silas Marner] a second time desolate?

Related Characters: Silas Marner
Related Symbols: Gold
Page Number: 35
Explanation and Analysis:

Silas Marner is robbed of all the gold he’d hidden beneath the floorboards. Although the way this happens is traced by the plot of the novel and revealed to the reader, Marner is at a loss to explain how his gold has disappeared. This robbery seems particularly mysterious to Marner because his gold is well-concealed, yet someone went directly to the spot, removed the floorboards, and cleared away all the gold. Marner first wonders if it was a thief who took the gold, and then wonders if it was “a cruel power” set against his unhappiness. This procession of thinking, from practical explanation to fantastical explanation, shows what happens when something unbelievable occurs. Marner is quick to believe in God or god-like beings when something beyond rational explanation occurs. Human knowledge is limited, in the time period of this novel and today.

Marner repeatedly experiences events beyond his understanding and reaches for a supernatural explanation. He loses his faith in a benevolent God, but continues to ask, as he does here, about the existence of a cruel power that is negatively targeting him. This understanding of “morality” is one that is unpredictable and irrational. Marner doesn’t believe he has done anything to deserve his two losses—his lost position in Lantern Yard and his lost money—therefore, it must be some cruel power that is targeting him without reason. Actually, in both cases, another person has taken advantage of Marner—William Dane who accused him and Dunstan who robbed him—and yet it could also be argued that these humans were just the instruments of Fate or God.

Chapter 10 Quotes

Formerly, his [Silas Marner’s] heart had been as a locked casket with its treasure inside; but now the casket was empty, and the lock was broken. Left groping in darkness, with his prop utterly gone, Silas had inevitably a sense, though a dull and half-despairing one, that if any help came to him it must come from without; and there was a slight stirring of expectation at the sight of his fellow-men, a faint consciousness of dependence on their goodwill.

Related Characters: Silas Marner
Related Symbols: Gold
Page Number: 67
Explanation and Analysis:

When Silas Marner loses his gold, the loss shakes him out of a routine pattern for his daily life. This change is described with the simile of a locked casket. Marner’s heart was “locked” because it was focused only on the gold inside. Without the gold, the casket (his heart) is empty. The gold is described in this passage as Marner’s “prop,” the thing he relied on every day. Because of this dramatic shift in his focus from the gold to the absence of the gold, Marner thinks for the first time about his fellow humans. He feels that “if any help came to him it must come from without.” Therefore, the loss of Marner’s gold is not a bad thing, although Marner sees it that way. The reader definitively learns in this passage that the gold was blocking Marner from focusing on connection with other people.

Marner now begins to feel “expectation” at the sight of others and has a sense of “dependence on their goodwill.” This shows that his faith in other people has never been completely lost. Despite his anger and bitterness after his dramatic departure from Lantern Yard, he is still somewhat inclined to believe in the goodness of others. Without his gold blocking his view, he is able to see the importance of other people in his life.

Chapter 12 Quotes

[Silas Marner] was stooping to push his logs together, when, to his blurred vision, it seemed as if there were gold on the floor in front of the hearth. Gold!—his own gold—brought back to him as mysteriously as it had been taken away!

Related Characters: Silas Marner
Related Symbols: Gold, The Hearth
Page Number: 93
Explanation and Analysis:

In this scene, Silas Marner finds the baby Eppie sleeping on his hearth. The proximity of the sleeping child to the place he used to hide his gold, and the similar color between the gold and the hair of the child leads to his confusion. This reaction shows Marner’s focus on his gold, which he immediately thinks of when confronted with the same color on his hearth. Marner’s mistake strongly links Eppie and the gold in more ways than one, however. In addition to their similarities, and the precious role they play in Marner’s life, both the gold and Eppie disappear and appear without an easily understandable explanation. The child appears “as mysteriously” as the gold was “taken away.” As with the disappearance of the gold, the appearance of Eppie is explained to the reader, but not to Marner. Although it seems unlikely that the child would have been left near Marner’s cottage and would have wandered inside, it is possible. To Marner, however, it seems impossible that this child could have appeared without some influence from a divine power. Therefore, the mysterious nature of the gold's departure and the child's arrival further contributes to Marner’s sense that Eppie has replaced the gold in a spiritual sense.

Chapter 13 Quotes

Godfrey felt a great throb: there was one terror in his mind at that moment: it was, that the woman might not be dead. That was an evil terror—an ugly inmate to have found a nestling-place in Godfrey's kindly disposition; but no disposition is a security from evil wishes to a man whose happiness hangs on duplicity.

Related Characters: Silas Marner, Molly Farren
Page Number: 96
Explanation and Analysis:

Silas Marner finds Molly's body outside his hut and rushes to Squire Cass’s party in search of the doctor. Godfrey overhears the news and hurries with the doctor, Mrs. Winthrop, and Silas Marner to inspect the woman. Godfrey waits outside Marner’s hut in great agitation as the doctor cares for Molly. He wonders as he waits if she is really dead, and he feels terror at the thought that she might not be. This passage explains Godfrey’s terror as the natural consequence of his circumstance, which has twisted his heart and mind enough that he wishes for another person's death. His wish arises from a desire to protect himself and his happiness. If Molly is dead, Godfrey's secret dies with her.

This passage describes how such a cruel thought could arise from the mind of a man like Godfrey, who is weak of character, but kind. Eliot universalizes Godfrey’s experience, pointing out that any man who is living a duplicitous life will succumb to evil when it is necessary to maintain the duplicity his happiness is based on. For Godfrey to be happy, he must wish for Molly’s death. If he had never gotten himself into this situation, Godfrey would never have been the type of person who wished any ill on another being.

Chapter 14 Quotes

Thought and feeling were so confused within him [Silas Marner], that if he had tried to give them utterance, he could only have said that the child was come instead of the gold—that the gold had turned into the child.

Related Characters: Silas Marner, Eppie
Related Symbols: Gold
Page Number: 103
Explanation and Analysis:

As seen before, Silas Marner sees a strong connection between the gold he has lost and the child he has found. Their physical similarities (gold color and golden hair), their mysterious disappearance and arrival, and their location near his hearth, link the two in his mind. The timing of the loss of one and discovery of the other also leads Marner to have many confusing thoughts and feelings. He is devastated by the loss of his gold, which was the only thing he held dear to his heart. The child fills the gap left by the gold, and, as the novel shows, takes up her place in Marner’s heart in a more meaningful way.

In this passage, Marner understands the loss of the gold and the arrival of the child as less of a replacement and more of a transformation. He thinks, “the gold had turned into the child.” This transformation is his way of explaining something that is beyond his ability to understand. Instead of thinking about a cruel power that is bringing him unhappiness, Marner is considering a fantastical transformation that isn’t one of loss and gain, but one of change. He is reworking his bitter understanding of the loss of his gold, as he grows to believe that he hasn’t lost the gold, only that it has changed into something far better.

“…the little child had come to link him [Silas Marner] once more with the whole world.”

Related Characters: Silas Marner, Eppie
Page Number: 110
Explanation and Analysis:

When Silas Marner takes in the little orphaned child, the villagers of Raveloe gain a new interest in Marner and grow to see him in a new light. The once-frightening weaver is approachable with the little girl at his side. Mothers from the village come to Marner with help and advice. The child gives the people of Raveloe a reason to reach out to Marner, in addition to a new understanding of him as a kind-hearted, if lonely, soul. Therefore, it is through Eppie that Marner is once again “linked” with “the whole world.” This transition presents a parallel (yet opposite) transition to Marner's departure from Lantern Yard. There Marner severed ties with the world because others saw him as a threat. He was seen as a thief and a liar and he was cut off from his community.

The people of Raveloe's dramatic change shows that the opinions of society play a critical role in the relationship between society and the individual. If the individual is mistrusted, he is cast out. If the individual is well-liked, he is embraced as part of the group. This can be either logical or illogical. Marner deserves the respect of the villagers for taking care of Eppie. On the other hand, Marner was falsely accused in Lantern Yard and public opinion turned against him without good reason.

Chapter 16 Quotes

By seeking what was needful for Eppie, by sharing the effect that everything produced on her, he [Silas Marner] had himself come to appropriate the forms of custom and belief which were the mould of Raveloe life; and as, with reawakening sensibilities, memory also reawakened, he had begun to ponder over the elements of his old faith, and blend them with his new impressions, till he recovered a consciousness of unity between his past and present.

Related Characters: Silas Marner, Eppie
Related Symbols: Raveloe
Page Number: 118
Explanation and Analysis:

Silas Marner loves Eppie and seeks out everything that is best for her, and, in the process, his personality changes from one of cold isolation into one who participates in the “forms of custom and belief” in Raveloe. This has the effect of helping Marner fit into Raveloe and become a part of the community. It also has the effect of restoring Marner to something like the person he was before his first hardship (his expulsion from Lantern Yard). This earlier person was a man of faith, and faith is one thing Marner regains as he raises Eppie and becomes part of Raveloe society. Marner must recover elements of his “old faith” and “blend them with his new impressions.” This integration of the old and the new is important because it allows Marner to see his episode as an isolated weaver as an interruption in a connected past and present. He is not meant to be that sad and isolated person forever. He regains his natural care for others and the faith he had as a young man.

Notably, part of Marner’s transformation involves taking on the “mould of Raveloe life.” Not only does he become part of a community, but he adjusts himself to specific traits and ideas of that community. This is later very apparent when Eppie and Marner visit Lantern Yard. Both miss the ways of life in Raveloe to which they are accustomed.

Chapter 19 Quotes

“…then, sir, why didn't you say so sixteen year ago, and claim her before I'd come to love her, i'stead o' coming to take her from me now, when you might as well take the heart out o' my body? God gave her to me because you turned your back upon her, and He looks upon her as mine: you've no right to her! When a man turns a blessing from his door, it falls to them as take it in.”

Related Characters: Silas Marner (speaker), Godfrey Cass
Page Number: 141
Explanation and Analysis:

Godfrey and Nancy explain the biological connection between Godfrey and Eppie to Silas Marner and the girl. They state their wish to adopt Eppie and to give her a better (that is, upper-class) than the life she has with Marner. Marner is very upset by this, because he loves Eppie as his own child. He speaks of losing Eppie as the same as taking his heart out of his body. His emotions show clearly how much he cares for the girl, especially in contrast to Godfrey’s measured arguments.

Marner is upset because he loves Eppie, but he also offers compelling arguments for why Godfrey doesn’t ethically deserve to take his child. Marner points out that Godfrey “turned his back upon her” with full knowledge of the identity and whereabouts of his daughter. This means that Godfrey has no right to her. In contrast, Marner has taken her in and cared for her, and, therefore, she is his in God’s eyes. Marner’s faith is an important part of his claim on Eppie, because he believes her to have come into his life through God’s will. Marner expands his point to say that any blessing a man turns from his door can be claimed by anyone who will take it in. This is a sort of “finders keepers” argument. The language of ownership in this passage may be startling to a modern reader, as each man claims Eppie is "his." Marner argues that belonging is defined by care, and Godfrey argues that belonging is defined by biological connection.

“…but repentance doesn't alter what's been going on for sixteen year.”

Related Characters: Silas Marner (speaker)
Page Number: 141
Explanation and Analysis:

Godfrey says that he wants to adopt Eppie to repent for his past wrongdoings, but Marner argues that repentance cannot change the past. Godfrey has ignored Eppie and his responsibility to her every day for sixteen years. At any point he could have chosen to care for his daughter. He does finally do so, but it happens sixteen years too late. Forgiveness and repentance are important concepts in religious faith. Marner, unlike God, is not interested in granting forgiveness for Godfrey’s wrongdoing. He sees the choice that Godfrey made as irreversible. And in many ways he's right: there is no way Godfrey can turn back time and spend sixteen years devoted to his growing child. During that time, Eppie has found a family in Silas Marner and in the villagers of Raveloe who move in different social circles than the wealthy Godfrey and Nancy.

This passage shows that choices have long-term consequences, and also that the novel as a whole provides moral justice. Characters suffer or benefit from choices they make, and repentance does not always alter these outcomes. Godfrey continues to suffer because he ignored his daughter for sixteen years, and he cannot change his past choices through present action.

Chapter 21 Quotes

“It's gone, child," he [Silas Marner] said, at last, in strong agitation—“Lantern Yard's gone. It must ha' been here, because here's the house with the o'erhanging window—I know that—it's just the same; but they've made this new opening; and see that big factory! It's all gone—chapel and all.”

Related Characters: Silas Marner (speaker), Eppie
Related Symbols: Lantern Yard
Page Number: 148
Explanation and Analysis:

Even though Silas Marner’s life has been changed for the better because of Eppie, he still feels unease about his past in Lantern Yard. He wonders if his name was ever cleared from the crime for which he was blamed. Seeking answers to these questions, Marner and Eppie visit Lantern Yard, only to discover that the town has grown into a city and has been completely transformed by the Industrial Revolution. A big factory has replaced the local chapel and the community where Marner lived. Despite these changes, Marner recognizes the location by a house with a distinct overhanging window. This confirms for him that the place he once knew, and the people he knew there, are gone.

This dramatic change shows a contrast between Raveloe and Lantern Yard. In the rural village, little has changed over the course of the book, but Lantern Yard is transformed. This transformation heralds the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, which will affect even rural places like Raveloe. This historical context for the novel hints at the changes that England will face in the near future, which exist ominously in relationship to the villagers of Raveloe’s fear of change.

Although Marner once defined himself in relationship to society in Lantern Yard, this society is gone—and Marner remains. Society is not more permanent than the individual, but is always in flux. Yet the consistency and familiarity of Raveloe also offers comfort and security to both Marner and Eppie. Marner is eager to return home after visiting Lantern Yard—similarly, Eppie didn’t want to live with Godfrey and Nancy because it would mean leaving the comfort of Marner's familiar society.

“It's the will o' Them above as a many things should be dark to us; but there's some things as I've never felt i' the dark about, and they're mostly what comes i' the day's work. You were hard done by that once, Master Marner, and it seems as you'll never know the rights of it; but that doesn't hinder there being a rights, Master Marner, for all it's dark to you and me.”

Related Characters: Dolly Winthrop (speaker), Silas Marner
Page Number: 149
Explanation and Analysis:

Marner discusses the changes he saw in Lantern Yard with Dolly Winthrop after he returns to Raveloe. He worries that he will never know whether the truth of his false accusation was uncovered. Mrs. Winthrop comforts Marner by pointing out that there are some things that will never be known to humans, but this shouldn’t impact the things that are certainties in our lives. Mrs. Winthrop speaks of the will of “them above” that keeps humans in the dark. This attributes omniscience to God (or gods), while pointing out that some things will always be mysterious to humans. This view encourages Marner to accept those things he cannot know about or change. On the other hand, Mrs. Winthrop says that she never feels confusion about what “comes in the day’s work.” She knows the things in her daily life and she feels contented with what she knows. This furthers her argument that there is value in accepting the limitations of human knowledge. It is enough to know small-scale things.

Mrs. Winthrop also points out that just because Marner doesn’t know something doesn’t mean that the right thing hasn’t happened in the world. Only “them above” can see and understand the big picture, and “the right thing” may be happening in the big picture even if Marner cannot see and understand how it is happening. Perhaps God has a reason for Marner never discovering the truth about his past in Raveloe, even if this reason isn’t clear to Marner.

“Since the time the child was sent to me and I've come to love her as myself, I've had light enough to trusten by; and now she says she'll never leave me, I think I shall trusten till I die.”

Related Characters: Silas Marner (speaker), Eppie
Page Number: 149
Explanation and Analysis:

Marner tells Mrs. Winthrop that Eppie has changed his life because she brought light enough for him to “trusten by.” This idea of light and trust is two-fold. First, Marner is continuing a metaphor Mrs. Winthrop began earlier in their conversation when she referred to some things that are “dark” to humans: things we cannot explain or understand. On the other hand, those things that are "light" to us are so clear and obvious that they will never be questioned. Silas Marner feels this way about his love for Eppie. Marner also gains a newfound trust in God and in humanity because of Eppie’s presence in his life. Her love showed him the value of companionship and the value of being part of the society of Raveloe, and seemed to show him that a benevolent God brought Eppie to him in the first place.

Part 2, Conclusion Quotes

“…he [Silas Marner had brought a blessing on himself by acting like a father to a lone motherless child.”

Related Characters: Silas Marner
Page Number: 151
Explanation and Analysis:

The villagers of Raveloe praise Marner for his kindness in taking in Eppie years earlier. This praise directly links Marner’s act of kindness to his own good fortune years down the road. Because he was a father to an orphaned child, he has “brought a blessing on himself.” This statement supposes that one’s actions have direct and long-term consequences in one's life. As a whole, this novel upholds this idea, as good characters meet good ends, bad characters meet bad ends, and morally ambiguous characters have mixed ends to their narratives. This gives the novel a moral tone, as it presents a lesson about the way decisions continue to influence one’s life for years to come. It also relies on a sense of trust that, despite bumps along the way, people who hold onto their faith and act out of kindness are blessed. The world of this novel is not a world of chance occurrences—actions and character traits are rewarded or punished according to moral standards.

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Silas Marner Character Timeline in Silas Marner

The timeline below shows where the character Silas Marner appears in Silas Marner. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
One linen weaver, named Silas Marner, resides in a cottage near the village of Raveloe, beside a Stone Pit. Local boys... (full context)
Faith Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
The Limits of Human Knowledge Theme Icon
At the beginning of the story, Silas Marner has lived in Raveloe for fifteen years. His appearance and lifestyle, fifteen years earlier, had... (full context)
Faith Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
The Limits of Human Knowledge Theme Icon
Despite the suspicions of his neighbors, Marner’s weaving services continue to be popular in Raveloe, and little changes in public opinion of... (full context)
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
In Lantern Yard, young Marner had a close friend named William Dane, another promising young man who was somewhat severe... (full context)
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
...ill, the young men and women of the community took turns sitting by his bedside. Marner and William Dane often traded off around two in the morning, splitting a night shift... (full context)
Faith Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
At the meeting, the minister brought out Marner’s pocketknife, which had been found in the deacon’s bureau, where the church money was stored... (full context)
Faith Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
The Limits of Human Knowledge Theme Icon
To determine Marner’s fate, the church community drew lots: an ancient practice used in The Bible of casting... (full context)
Chapter 2
Faith Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Silas Marner discovers that his new home in Raveloe is vastly different than Lantern Yard. The familiar... (full context)
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Marner’s first response to his shock at his false accusation had been to commit himself fully... (full context)
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
One day, Marner sees the cobbler’s wife, Sally Oates, suffering from heart disease and dropsy, which had also... (full context)
Faith Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Marner’s stash of money grows, and, with it, his desire for more gold. He stashes his... (full context)
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Marner’s life has withered to the solitary practices of weaving and hoarding his gold. After twelve... (full context)
Chapter 4
Morality Theme Icon
...Wildfire to the hunt the next morning, and, on his way, he passes by Silas Marner’s cottage. Dunstan realizes that the weaver must have saved a large sum of money and... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
...as he plans to suggest his earlier idea to Godfrey: taking a loan from Silas Marner. Dunstan walks toward Raveloe through the misty evening, all the while tapping Godfrey’s inscribed gold... (full context)
Faith Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
...the mist as he nears the Stone Pits and realizes it is the light from Marner’s cottage. As he walks, Dunstan fantasizes about the bribing and threatening necessary to secure a... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Dunstan knocks loudly at Marner’s door only to be met with silence. He intends to shake the door, but it... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
Dunstan wonders, where is the money? He does not stop to consider that Marner might not, in fact, be dead, but quickly notes the one spot on the floor... (full context)
Chapter 5
Faith Theme Icon
Just as Dunstan is leaving the cottage, Silas Marner is about to return. While he had left his home and his money defenseless, Marner... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Marner had ventured out earlier because he recalled he needed to purchase a fine twine for... (full context)
Faith Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
Silas Marner has lost all his faith, and his isolation has turned his power of loving onto... (full context)
Faith Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
The Limits of Human Knowledge Theme Icon
Marner wonders suddenly if he has been robbed, but it had appeared to him as if... (full context)
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Marner runs to the Rainbow, which he thinks of as a place where the most prominent... (full context)
Chapter 6
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
The conversation is lively when Silas Marner enters, having reached a pitch after a slow and quiet start to the evening. Earlier... (full context)
Chapter 7
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
The Limits of Human Knowledge Theme Icon
Just as the farrier is scoffing again at ghosts, Silas Marner appears like an apparition in the midst of the group. Everyone is startled and Mr.... (full context)
Faith Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
The landlord calls to Jem Rodney to calm Marner down, but the young man has no interest in approaching Marner, still apprehensive of his... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
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...human thief must have completed the crime of robbery because of its perfect timing with Marner’s brief and unique absence from home and the appearance that nothing else had been touched... (full context)
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The farrier proposes going with Marner to the constable’s home, where he is ill, and asking him to appointment another man... (full context)
Chapter 8
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...absence. The next day, the whole of Raveloe is fascinated by the story of Silas Marner’s robbery. A close examination of the area near Marner’s cottage produces a tinderbox found in... (full context)
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Silas Marner’s memory of the peddler is generally disappointing: he recalls the man turning away at once... (full context)
Chapter 10
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When Justice Malam is notified of Silas Marner’s robbery and the tinderbox, an inquiry is sent out about the peddler in question. But... (full context)
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...was a man or a supernatural force. As interest in the case falls away, Silas Marner’s grief continues. The basis for his continued work and existence has been removed, and often,... (full context)
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Neighbors share gifts of pork and black puddings with Silas Marner, as well as kind words. Mr. Macey encourages Marner to get a Sunday suit and... (full context)
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...cakes and her little son Aaron along with her as she goes to visit Silas Marner. Marner receives them without impatience. Before the loss of his gold, any interruption would cause... (full context)
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Mrs. Winthrop gives Silas Marner the cakes, which she has inscribed with letters she’s seen in church: I.H.S. Neither of... (full context)
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...in which she refers to the divine “They” or “Them,” has little impact on Silas Marner because it does not resemble the faith he had known in Lantern Yard. Flustered by... (full context)
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Silas Marner tries again to respond to her kindness in the only way he knows, by offering... (full context)
Chapter 12
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...snow catches the child’s eye and she follows it to the open door of Silas Marner’s cottage. She wanders inside and falls asleep on an old sack near the warm hearth. (full context)
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In the weeks since the loss of his money, Silas Marner has formed the habit of opening his door from time to time and looking out... (full context)
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Stretching his hand out to his returned gold, Silas Marner touches curly hair. Marner examines the sleeping child. Is this a dream? He wonders. He... (full context)
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The child awakens, crying, and Silas Marner is kept busy feeding her porridge and following her tottering steps about his house. He... (full context)
Chapter 13
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...attempting to avoid his father’s jokes about his and Nancy's relationship. At that moment, Silas Marner appears in the doorway carrying Godfrey’s own child. Marner says he’s looking for the doctor... (full context)
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The ladies encourage Silas Marner to leave the child there, but he finds he cannot part with it. Godfrey offers... (full context)
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...to see his secret wife’s body, but casts her only one glance. He asks Silas Marner if he’ll take the child to the parish the next day. Marner says he wishes... (full context)
Chapter 14
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...any tears, but her death has redirected the lives of several individuals in Raveloe. Silas Marner’s decision to raise the child is met with surprise, and women throughout the village advise... (full context)
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While Silas Marner appreciates Dolly’s advice, he prefers to do everything he can himself to care for the... (full context)
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Silas Marner decides to do whatever he can that is best for the girl, and to have... (full context)
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Silas Marner’s gold, when it had been the center of his attention, needed nothing, and could be... (full context)
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Eppie grows into a troublesome toddler, but Marner finds he never has the heart to punish her despite Dolly Winthrop’s insistence that some... (full context)
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One day, however, Eppie causes more mischief than usual. Using Marner’s scissors, she cuts herself free of the linen strip and runs outside. When next Marner... (full context)
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The failure of the coal hole punishment discourages Marner from ever again attempting to discipline Eppie. Marner carries the little girl with him on... (full context)
Chapter 15
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From a distance, Godfrey watches Eppie grow up in Silas Marner’s care. Occasionally he does what he can to help the weaver, but he does not... (full context)
Chapter 16
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Sixteen years have passed since Silas Marner discovered Eppie asleep on his hearth. The villagers of Raveloe are leaving their Sunday morning... (full context)
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Aaron Winthrop, now a good-looking young fellow, follows Marner and Eppie from the church. Eppie expresses to her father how much she wishes they... (full context)
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Marner watches Eppie as she prepares their Sunday meal at the hearth. He has kept the... (full context)
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Marner has opened up his heart so fully that he has even been able to share... (full context)
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One day, Dolly arrives at Marner’s with the pronouncement that she has had a sudden realization about his story. She says... (full context)
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Marner has been able to talk of his past with Eppie too as she has grown... (full context)
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Eppie and Marner sit outside discussing their garden and the stones they could gather to build a wall... (full context)
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...never take her away from her father, but that they could all live together, so Marner wouldn’t need to work at all. Eppie intends to marry Aaron, someday. But at the... (full context)
Chapter 18
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...body, with his watch and seals, Godfrey’s hunting crop, and, most horrifyingly, all of Silas Marner’s stolen money. Nancy is surprised and ashamed for herself and Godfrey, having been raised to... (full context)
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...he married her he kept his past a secret: the dead woman found by Silas Marner was his wife and Eppie is his child. Nancy is silent as Godfrey tells her... (full context)
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...her and provide for her, so they decide to go that very evening to see Marner and Eppie. (full context)
Chapter 19
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That evening, Silas Marner and Eppie are sitting alone in the cottage. Marner is exhausted by the events of... (full context)
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...when she opens the door to admit Mr. and Mrs. Cass. Godfrey first apologizes to Marner for the loss of his money, hoping that he can make it up to him,... (full context)
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...like to adopt Eppie as their own. As Godfrey speaks, Eppie puts her arm around Marner and feels him trembling. Marner is clearly distressed, but says only that he will not... (full context)
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...Eppie because she is his child and her mother was his wife. Eppie is startled. Marner speaks with new fierceness, asking Godfrey why he didn’t claim his daughter sixteen years earlier.... (full context)
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Godfrey urges rationality. Such a change wouldn’t tear Marner and Eppie apart forever, he argues. He says that he feels it’s his duty to... (full context)
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...she would never again be happy if she were forced to leave her father, Silas Marner. He had no one to love or care for him before she appeared in his... (full context)
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...his past wrongs has been thwarted. He leaves abruptly, unable to say anything else to Marner and Eppie, and Nancy follows more gracefully. (full context)
Chapter 21
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The next morning, as Silas Marner and Eppie are eating breakfast, Marner tells Eppie that there’s something he’s been meaning to... (full context)
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Silas Marner and Eppie arrive in Lantern Yard only to find a great manufacturing town, altered to... (full context)
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...people leaving the Yard, as if they’d gone to chapel at noon on a weekday, Marner exclaims, and then stops in amazement. They are in front of a large factory where... (full context)
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Upon their return to Raveloe, Marner reports to Dolly Winthrop that the old Lantern Yard has completely vanished. He realizes that... (full context)
Part 2, Conclusion
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...his door. Mr. Macey says he always insisted that there was no harm in Master Marner and that he’d live to see him get his money back. Guests are already assembled... (full context)
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...than Eppie ever dreamed of. Other alterations were made by Godfrey Cass to accommodate Silas Marner’s growing family in the home where they preferred to stay. As their beautiful home comes... (full context)