Silas Marner

Godfrey Cass Character Analysis

The eldest son of Squire Cass, the most prominent man in Raveloe. Despite Godfrey’s good family, he makes poor choices and marries a lowly woman named Molly Farren. Together they have a daughter, Eppie. While Godfrey keeps his wife and child a secret from his father and the village, Godfrey’s younger brother Dunstan uses his knowledge of the secret marriage to manipulate Godfrey. Molly also threatens to reveal the marriage in order to convince Godfrey to support her, and her opium addiction. Godfrey battles within himself about whether or not to reveal his secret. Naturally a good man, he is irresolute and indecisive. His fearful circumstances cause him to maintain silence and to keep appeasing Dunstan and Molly. After Molly’s death, Godfrey is free to marry his true love, the respectable Nancy Lammeter. He tries to provide for his daughter, Eppie, by supporting Silas Marner who has adopted her. Years later, after Dunstan’s drowned body is found alongside the gold Dunstan stole from Silas, Godfrey confesses all to Nancy and the two attempt to adopt Eppie. Nancy and Godfrey are unable to have children of their own, but Eppie prefers to stay with Silas Marner. Godfrey views this unhappy outcome as part of his punishment for past wrongs.

Godfrey Cass Quotes in Silas Marner

The Silas Marner quotes below are all either spoken by Godfrey Cass or refer to Godfrey Cass. 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 3 Quotes

“I might tell the Squire how his handsome son was married to that nice young woman, Molly Farren, and was very unhappy because he couldn't live with his drunken wife, and I should slip into your place as comfortable as could be.”

Related Characters: Dunstan Cass (speaker), Godfrey Cass, Squire Cass
Page Number: 20
Explanation and Analysis:

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His [Godfrey’s] natural irresolution and moral cowardice were exaggerated by a position in which dreaded consequences seemed to press equally on all sides, and his irritation had no sooner provoked him to defy Dunstan and anticipate all possible betrayals, than the miseries he must bring on himself by such a step seemed more unendurable to him than the present evil.

Related Characters: Godfrey Cass, Dunstan Cass
Page Number: 21
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 9 Quotes

He [Godfrey Cass] was not likely to be very penetrating in his judgments, but he had always had a sense that his father's indulgence had not been kindness, and had had a vague longing for some discipline that would have checked his own errant weakness and helped his better will.

Related Characters: Godfrey Cass, Squire Cass
Page Number: 59
Explanation and Analysis:

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Favourable Chance, I fancy, is the god of all men who follow their own devices instead of obeying a law they believe in. Let even a polished man of these days get into a position he is ashamed to avow, and his mind will be bent on all the possible issues that may deliver him from the calculable results of that position.

Related Characters: Godfrey Cass
Page Number: 60
Explanation and Analysis:

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Chapter 12 Quotes

Molly knew that the cause of her dingy rags was not her husband's neglect, but the demon Opium to whom she was enslaved, body and soul, except in the lingering mother's tenderness that refused to give him her hungry child. She knew this well; and yet, in the moments of wretched unbenumbed consciousness, the sense of her want and degradation transformed itself continually into bitterness towards Godfrey. He was well off; and if she had her rights she would be well off too.

Related Characters: Godfrey Cass, Molly Farren
Page Number: 90
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 18 Quotes

“Everything comes to light, Nancy, sooner or later. When God Almighty wills it, our secrets are found out.”

Related Characters: Godfrey Cass (speaker), Nancy Lammeter
Page Number: 135
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Chapter 20 Quotes

“She thinks I did wrong by her mother as well as by her. She thinks me worse than I am. But she must think it: she can never know all. It's part of my punishment, Nancy, for my daughter to dislike me.”

Related Characters: Godfrey Cass (speaker), Godfrey Cass, Eppie, Nancy Lammeter, Molly Farren
Page Number: 146
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Godfrey Cass Character Timeline in Silas Marner

The timeline below shows where the character Godfrey Cass appears in Silas Marner. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 3
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
...time betting and drinking, having been kept at home in leisure all his life. Recently, Godfrey Cass, the elder son, has appeared troubled and perhaps is taking after his younger brother’s... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Godfrey and Dunstan confront each other in the parlor of the Red House one November afternoon.... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
When Godfrey argues that he has no money to offer in place of the loaned rent money... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
Godfrey’s naturally irresolute personality and his fear of losing Nancy Lammeter’s affections, should his secret become... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
After Dunstan’s departure, Godfrey curses both his brother’s careful manipulation and his own folly for having gotten himself into... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
The Limits of Human Knowledge Theme Icon
Godfrey can only imagine one situation worse than his present one: the one he will be... (full context)
Chapter 4
Morality Theme Icon
Dunstan is unconcerned by Wildfire’s death 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... (full context)
Chapter 8
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Godfrey Cass returns home from Mrs. Osgood’s party to find Dunstan has not returned. His thoughts... (full context)
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
...the peddler didn’t murder Marner because earring-wearing individuals have been known to resort to murder. Godfrey Cass treats the matter lightly. He recalls that the peddler was rather a merry fellow,... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
By afternoon, Godfrey’s concern about Dunstan’s absence has grown and he leaves for Batherley. He worries that perhaps... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
Godfrey is convinced that he must now tell his father the whole story of loaning Dunstan... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
Despite Godfrey’s conviction, he awakes the next morning unable to persuade himself that he should tell the... (full context)
Chapter 9
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Godfrey rises early the next morning, and, after eating breakfast, waits for the Squire’s appearance in... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
Godfrey tells his father that Wildfire has been killed when Dunstan rode him to the hunt.... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
Squire Cass declares that it’s time Godfrey outgrew any foolishness. He has been a good father, he feels, and his sons have... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
...ask for Mr. Lammeter’s daughter’s hand for his son himself, if only cowardice is holding Godfrey back. Godfrey pleads with his father to let the matter alone, to let him speak... (full context)
Faith Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
The Limits of Human Knowledge Theme Icon
Favorable Chance takes over the minds of any men in unfavorable circumstances, and Godfrey’s hopes all depend on some chance outcome that will settle everything for him. Rather than... (full context)
Chapter 10
Morality Theme Icon
Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
...large party where all the society of Raveloe and the neighboring village of Tarley gather. Godfrey is looking forward to this party, half anxious that Dunstan will return and reveal his... (full context)
Chapter 11
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
...Lammeter arrives at the Red House with her father on New Year’s Eve. She sees Godfrey standing at the door, and wishes she could have her sister Priscilla at her side... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
...one old maid among two sisters is enough. The sisters descend to the parlor and Godfrey guides Nancy to a seat near himself. Surrounded by the Squire’s family’s wealth, Nancy is... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
...at the thought of a union between his daughter and the Squire’s son. He feels Godfrey would have to make some changes before he would consent to such a marriage. Dr.... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
...and Ben Winthrop comment upon the figures of the dancers, and, while Mr. Macey criticizes Godfrey’s shoulders and coat, Mr. Winthrop can find no fault in him. (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
The Limits of Human Knowledge Theme Icon
...under the Squire’s foot and stitches are torn out at the waist of her dress. Godfrey leads her into the adjoining parlor until Priscilla can come help her fix her dress.... (full context)
Chapter 12
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
While Godfrey is caught up in spending his precious moment with Nancy, his wife, unknown to him,... (full context)
Chapter 13
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
...the white parlor to look on the dancing. Nancy is seated with her father, as Godfrey stands a little ways off, attempting to avoid his father’s jokes about his and Nancy's... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
...Silas Marner to leave the child there, but he finds he cannot part with it. Godfrey offers to get Mrs. Winthrop for assistance, as Dr. Kimble heads toward the Stone Pits... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Godfrey enters the cottage to see his secret wife’s body, but casts her only one glance.... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Godfrey feels strongly the opportunity he has from this point onward to say tender things to... (full context)
Chapter 15
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
From a distance, Godfrey watches Eppie grow up in Silas Marner’s care. Occasionally he does what he can to... (full context)
Chapter 16
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
...asleep on his hearth. The villagers of Raveloe are leaving their Sunday morning church service. Godfrey Cass and his wife Nancy depart first, as their humbler neighbors watch them pass. The... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
...volunteers to dig the garden and to bring some soil and plants from his employer, Godfrey Cass’s, garden. Eppie makes her father promise he won’t work too hard when he and... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
...many ways, from the presence of these lively pets to the new furniture given by Godfrey Cass. No one in the village is jealous of Mr. Cass’s generosity to the poor... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
...level. Marner says this must be because of the draining in Mr. Osgood’s fields that Godfrey Cass has directed. (full context)
Chapter 17
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
...alone in the garden and Nancy tells Priscilla that she is contented, but worried about Godfrey and his low spirits. (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
The Limits of Human Knowledge Theme Icon
Priscilla is frustrated by men like Godfrey who, she believes, always want what they don’t have, but Nancy defends her husband. It’s... (full context)
Faith Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
The Limits of Human Knowledge Theme Icon
Nancy had resisted over the years Godfrey’s few attempts to suggest that they adopt a child. Nancy holds strongly to her opinions... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
From the first suggestion of adoption, Godfrey had specifically spoken of Eppie as a child whom they could adopt. Surely the weaver... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
...was right to discourage any consideration of adoption. Nancy labors to make her life with Godfrey perfect in every way except the one that in unchangeable, consoling herself that a different... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
Godfrey’s conscience is never easy about Eppie and his lack of children with Nancy feels like... (full context)
Chapter 18
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Godfrey returns, but he is trembling and pale. He tells Nancy to sit down and that... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
Godfrey’s tale continues as he reflects aloud that all secrets come to light sooner or later,... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
Godfrey reminds Nancy that if she had known the secret earlier she would never have married... (full context)
Chapter 19
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
...door and Eppie blushes 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... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
Godfrey points out that he and Mrs. Cass have no children and, therefore, they would like... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Fear of the Unknown Theme Icon
Godfrey, irritated, exclaims that he has a claim on Eppie because she is his child and... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
Godfrey urges rationality. Such a change wouldn’t tear Marner and Eppie apart forever, he argues. He... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
Godfrey is frustrated that his attempt to atone for his past wrongs has been thwarted. He... (full context)
Chapter 20
Morality Theme Icon
Nancy and Godfrey walk home in silence and stand together in the parlor. They look at each other... (full context)
Faith Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
The Limits of Human Knowledge Theme Icon
Nancy is relieved that Priscilla and her father won’t be troubled with the truth. Godfrey realizes that Eppie didn’t like the idea of him being her father, and that she... (full context)
Part 2, Conclusion
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
...Priscilla wishes Nancy could have had a child like Eppie, someone to occupy her and Godfrey’s minds above and beyond the lambs and calves. (full context)
Faith Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
...now has a larger garden 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.... (full context)