Silas Marner

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William Dane Character Analysis

A friend of Silas Marner’s in Lantern Yard, William Dane is more confident and self-assured than Marner. The two appear to be inseparable friends, but William Dane is harsher on those who are less devoted than himself. Dane also expresses assurance of his salvation, whereas Marner only feels fearful and hopeful when the friends discuss the afterlife. William Dane frames Marner for the theft of the church’s gold. His reasons for this betrayal are unclear other than the fact that very soon after Marner’s disgrace, William Dane becomes engaged to Sarah, who had once been engaged to Marner.
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William Dane Character Timeline in Silas Marner

The timeline below shows where the character William Dane 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
In Lantern Yard, young Marner had a close friend named William Dane , another promising young man who was somewhat severe with those less pious than him.... (full context)
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
...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 of sitting with... (full context)
Faith Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
...robbery, Marner insisted, “God will clear me.” He permitted a search of his dwelling, and William Dane discovered the bag of money behind the chest of drawers in Marner’s chamber. Marner, suddenly... (full context)
Faith Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
The Limits of Human Knowledge Theme Icon
...God to demonstrate his innocence, the lots pronounced him guilty. Shaking in anger, Marner accused William Dane of framing him and renounced God, accusing God of being a liar. The community was... (full context)