Silas Marner

Gold Symbol Icon
Silas Marner becomes obsessed with the acquisition and hoarding of gold after he losses his faith in God and in other people. Gold, as an object, becomes the recipient of all the human love and affection that he once directed toward his friends and community. Marner not only saves and hides his gold, but he admires it lovingly. He gives it attention and care worthy of a child. The gold symbolizes Marner’s isolation and his exclusion from human love and affection. His heart is directed toward the cold and unfeeling gold, and he appears cold and unfeeling to those around him. Only through Eppie’s appearance does Marner begin to love and cherish other human beings again. Eppie’s golden hair allows her to resemble the gold, creating a strong connection between Marner’s reactions to his gold and to his adopted child. His love for gold isolates him; his love for Eppie re-connects him to the community.

Gold Quotes in Silas Marner

The Silas Marner quotes below all refer to the symbol of Gold. 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 numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Dover Publications edition of Silas Marner published in 1996.
Chapter 4 Quotes

If the weaver was dead, who had a right to his money? Who would know where his money was hidden? Who would know that anybody had come to take it away? He [Dunstan] went no farther into the subtleties of evidence: the pressing question, "Where is the money?" now took such entire possession of him as to make him quite forget that the weaver's death was not a certainty. A dull mind, once arriving at an inference that flatters a desire, is rarely able to retain the impression that the notion from which the inference started was purely problematic. And Dunstan's mind was as dull as the mind of a possible felon usually is.

Related Characters: Dunstan Cass (speaker), Silas Marner
Related Symbols: Gold
Page Number: 30-31
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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Chapter 5 Quotes

Was it a thief who had taken the bags? Or was it a cruel power that no hands could reach, which had delighted in making him [Silas Marner] a second time desolate?

Related Characters: Silas Marner
Related Symbols: Gold
Page Number: 35
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.

Chapter 10 Quotes

Formerly, his [Silas Marner’s] heart had been as a locked casket with its treasure inside; but now the casket was empty, and the lock was broken. Left groping in darkness, with his prop utterly gone, Silas had inevitably a sense, though a dull and half-despairing one, that if any help came to him it must come from without; and there was a slight stirring of expectation at the sight of his fellow-men, a faint consciousness of dependence on their goodwill.

Related Characters: Silas Marner
Related Symbols: Gold
Page Number: 67
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 es

Chapter 12 Quotes

[Silas Marner] was stooping to push his logs together, when, to his blurred vision, it seemed as if there were gold on the floor in front of the hearth. Gold!—his own gold—brought back to him as mysteriously as it had been taken away!

Related Characters: Silas Marner
Related Symbols: Gold, The Hearth
Page Number: 93
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.

Chapter 14 Quotes

Thought and feeling were so confused within him [Silas Marner], that if he had tried to give them utterance, he could only have said that the child was come instead of the gold—that the gold had turned into the child.

Related Characters: Silas Marner, Eppie
Related Symbols: Gold
Page Number: 103
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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Gold Symbol Timeline in Silas Marner

The timeline below shows where the symbol Gold appears in Silas Marner. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
...if from instinct, like a spider. Upon completing his first project, Marner was paid in gold, and the five guineas shone brightly in his hand. Money, in the past, had been... (full context)
Faith Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Marner’s stash of money grows, and, with it, his desire for more gold. He stashes his money beneath some loose bricks in the floor under his loom. In... (full context)
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Marner’s life has withered to the solitary practices of weaving and hoarding his gold. After twelve years in Raveloe, he is fetching water from the well one day when... (full context)
Chapter 4
Morality Theme Icon
...Marner. Dunstan walks toward Raveloe through the misty evening, all the while tapping Godfrey’s inscribed gold whip that he carries. (full context)
Chapter 5
Faith Theme Icon
...a habit, as he’s never had reason before to suspect a thief might take his gold. Marner is looking forward to a gift of cooked pork for his supper and to... (full context)
Faith Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
...all his faith, and his isolation has turned his power of loving onto only his gold. He decides to take out his gold before supper and admire it as he eats.... (full context)
Faith Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
The Limits of Human Knowledge Theme Icon
...Was it some cruel supernatural power, and not a human thief, who had taken his gold? His thoughts fix on Jem Rodney as the probable thief. Jem had once lingered too... (full context)
Chapter 7
Faith Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
...apprehensive of his ghostly appearance. Marner whirls on Jem and accuses him of stealing his gold. The landlord encourages Marner to sit down and to share his full story and the... (full context)
Chapter 10
Faith Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
...goes to visit Silas Marner. Marner receives them without impatience. Before the loss of his gold, any interruption would cause him to lose work time and profit, but after his loss... (full context)
Chapter 12
Morality Theme Icon
The Limits of Human Knowledge Theme Icon
...time had passed and, turning to his hearth, he saw, with his poor vision, his gold on the hearth. (full context)
Faith Theme Icon
The Limits of Human Knowledge Theme Icon
Stretching his hand out to his returned gold, Silas Marner touches curly hair. Marner examines the sleeping child. Is this a dream? He... (full context)
Chapter 14
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
Silas Marner’s gold, when it had been the center of his attention, needed nothing, and could be worshipped... (full context)
Morality Theme Icon
The Individual and Society Theme Icon
...links Marner with the community and with other people. He no longer is interested in gold, other than as a means to secure what Eppie needs. (full context)
Chapter 19
Faith Theme Icon
Morality Theme Icon
...the quiet of being alone with only Eppie. Near them on the table is the gold, arranged as Marner used to arrange it. He has been telling Eppie of how he... (full context)