Silas Marner

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The Hearth Symbol Analysis

The Hearth Symbol Icon
Silas Marner’s cottage and his hearth are the setting for several key events in the novel. Marner discovers Eppie on the hearth, sleeping, and at first mistakes her for his lost gold. The cottage and the hearth become the center of Eppie and Marner’s relationship. Eppie refuses Godfrey’s offer to adopt her because she wishes to stay with the father she has grown up with. When Eppie and Aaron marry, they move into Marner’s cottage. The cottage and hearth represent the center of love and family for Eppie and Marner. It is the place where Eppie appears in Marner’s life, a place of warmth and familiarity, and it remains the center of their home throughout the novel.
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The Hearth Symbol Timeline in Silas Marner

The timeline below shows where the symbol The Hearth appears in Silas Marner. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
...door, but it swings open before him to reveal a blazing fire in Marner’s inviting hearth. Marner’s dinner is cooking on the fire, and Dunstan wonders if he left for some... (full context)
Chapter 12
Morality Theme Icon
...Marner’s cottage. She wanders inside and falls asleep on an old sack near the warm hearth. (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
The Limits of Human Knowledge Theme Icon
...recovering from his trance, Marner felt that no time had passed and, turning to his hearth, he saw, with his poor vision, his gold on the hearth. (full context)
Chapter 16
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Sixteen years have passed since Silas Marner discovered Eppie asleep on his hearth. The villagers of Raveloe are leaving their Sunday morning church service. Godfrey Cass and his... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Marner watches Eppie as she prepares their Sunday meal at the hearth. He has kept the hearth and never added a grate or oven because it is... (full context)
Chapter 19
Faith Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
...that Eppie might again be changed into the gold after she had appeared on his hearth. The gold holds no power over Marner now, but he worries aloud that if Eppie... (full context)