Silas Marner

Pdf fan Tap here to download this LitChart! (PDF)

Lantern Yard Symbol Analysis

Lantern Yard Symbol Icon
The town of Lantern Yard symbolizes the change that Silas Marner undergoes when he is betrayed and loses his faith in his home community and in God. Early in the book, the parish at Lantern Yard is a tight-knit, devote community, representative of the type of faith Silas Marner exhibits. He is committed to his belief in a benevolent God and trusts his safety and innocence to this God. Once he is falsely accused, his flight from Lantern Yard symbolizes his emotional separation from others with a literal physical separation. At the end of the novel, Marner returns to Lantern Yard a changed man, only to find that Lantern Yard has changed too and is virtually unrecognizable. Marner has a new faith that is no longer centered on a God who he thinks he can understand. The church community in Lantern Yard has vanished. The advance of manufacturing in Lantern Yard represents the change that is so feared by the villagers of Raveloe, and serves as an ominous indication that the Industrial Revolution will cause great changes across England.

Lantern Yard Quotes in Silas Marner

The Silas Marner quotes below all refer to the symbol of Lantern Yard. 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 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.

A+

Unlock explanations and citation info for this and every other Silas Marner quote.

Plus so much more...

Get LitCharts A+
Already a LitCharts A+ member? Sign in!
Get the entire Silas Marner LitChart as a printable PDF.
Silas marner.pdf.medium

Lantern Yard Symbol Timeline in Silas Marner

The timeline below shows where the symbol Lantern Yard appears in Silas Marner. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Faith Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
The Limits of Human Knowledge Theme Icon
...inner life, however, has taken a negative turn. Before living in Raveloe, Marner lived in Lantern Yard , where he had been surrounded by the activity and fellowship of his community. In... (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... (full context)
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
When the senior deacon of Lantern Yard became ill, the young men and women of the community took turns sitting by his... (full context)
Faith Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
The Limits of Human Knowledge Theme Icon
...their engagement, and, in less than a month, Sarah married William Dane, and Marner left Lantern Yard . (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 figures, church, minister, and doctrine of Lantern Yard had been the basis... (full context)
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
...act of charity, Marner feels emotions that he has not experienced since his departure from Lantern Yard . Soon other villagers come to Marner's cottage seeking charms and herbs to cure sicknesses.... (full context)
Chapter 10
Faith Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
The Limits of Human Knowledge Theme Icon
...upcoming Christmas day. Marner says he’s never been to church, only to the chapel in Lantern Yard . (full context)
Faith Theme Icon
The Limits of Human Knowledge Theme Icon
...impact on Silas Marner because it does not resemble the faith he had known in Lantern Yard . Flustered by her discussion, Marner attempts to return her good will by offering Aaron... (full context)
Chapter 14
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
...to raise her properly. Christening is not a religious concept Marner was exposed to in Lantern Yard . (full context)
Faith Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
...Eppie’s christening, but the practices and congregation are so different than what he knew in Lantern Yard that he cannot identify any of the experience with his old faith. (full context)
Chapter 21
Faith Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
...achievable now that his money had reappeared. He wants to visit his old home in Lantern Yard and to see if anything ever came to light concerning his innocence and to ask... (full context)
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
Silas Marner and Eppie arrive in Lantern Yard only to find a great manufacturing town, altered to a bewildering degree within the last... (full context)
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
The Limits of Human Knowledge Theme Icon
...in amazement. They are in front of a large factory where workers are leaving. “ Lantern Yard is gone,” Marner cries. The large factory has replaced the chapel and everything Marner remembers.... (full context)
Faith Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
The Limits of Human Knowledge Theme Icon
Upon their return to Raveloe, Marner reports to Dolly Winthrop that the old Lantern Yard has completely vanished. He realizes that he’ll never know whether the truth of the robbery... (full context)