Silas Marner

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Stone Pits Symbol Analysis

Stone Pits Symbol Icon
The stone pits near Silas Marner’s home in Raveloe appear only a few times in the novel, but they serve the key role of hiding the body of Dunstan Cass and Silas Marner’s stolen gold. The stone pits are a strange geographic detail near Marner’s cottage, with water filling their hidden depths. The stone pits represent the “unknown,” the elements of nature and fate that cannot be understood or explained by humans. When Marner loses his gold and finds Eppie, he can only understand this transition in terms of an exchange from the unknown. In reality, Marner’s gold has disappeared into the stone pits, and Eppie has wandered out of the wilderness from the edge of the stone pits. Only by draining the stone pits and revealing their hidden depths does the truth become clear: Marner’s gold and the thief are found, and Eppie’s true parentage is revealed directly afterward.
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Stone Pits Symbol Timeline in Silas Marner

The timeline below shows where the symbol Stone Pits 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
...weaver, named Silas Marner, resides in a cottage near the village of Raveloe, beside a Stone Pit . Local boys are both fearful of and fascinated by Marner and often peek in... (full context)
Chapter 4
Faith Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
Dunstan sees light gleaming through the mist as he nears the Stone Pits and realizes it is the light from Marner’s cottage. As he walks, Dunstan fantasizes about... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
...fire, and Dunstan wonders if he left for some brief errand, but slipped into the Stone Pits , never to return. If the weaver is dead, who has a right to his... (full context)
Chapter 13
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
...for the doctor and that he has found a woman in the snow near the Stone Pits , dead, he thinks. Godfrey feels a sudden terror that the woman might not actually... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
...it. Godfrey offers to get Mrs. Winthrop for assistance, as Dr. Kimble heads toward the Stone Pits with Marner. Dolly tells Godfrey he need not come all the way to the cottage... (full context)
Chapter 14
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
...his scissors, he discovers Eppie is gone and instantly fears she has fallen in the Stone Pit or is hurt or dead. When he finds her in the field, he is so... (full context)
Chapter 16
Morality Theme Icon
...Eppie points out all the stones they could gather, she skips to edge of the Stone Pit only to notice the low water level. Marner says this must be because of the... (full context)
Chapter 17
Morality Theme Icon
The Limits of Human Knowledge Theme Icon
...and Mr. Lammeter depart, Godfrey leaves for a walk around the draining fields near the Stone Pits . During Godfrey’s customary Sunday afternoon walks, Nancy tries to read the Bible, but ends... (full context)
Chapter 18
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
...anyone but himself. Godfrey tells her that Dunstan’s body, his skeleton, has been found. The Stone Pit has dried up from the draining and at the bottom of the pit was Dunstan... (full context)
Chapter 21
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
...Eppie is surprised by the closely proximity of the houses and remarks how pretty the Stone Pits will look when they return home. (full context)
Part 2, Conclusion
Faith Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
The cottage at the Stone Pits now has a larger garden than Eppie ever dreamed of. Other alterations were made by... (full context)