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Silas Marner

George Eliot

Key Facts

Important Quotations Explained

Study Questions & Essay Topics

full title  ·  Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe

author  · George Eliot

type of work  · Novel

genre  · Victorian novel, novel of manners, pastoral fiction

language  · English

time and place written  ·  1860–61, London

date of first publication  ·  1861

publisher  · William Blackwood and Sons

narrator  · An anonymous omniscient speaker with no part in the plot

point of view  · The narrator speaks in the omniscient third person, describing what the characters are seeing, feeling, and thinking and what they are failing to see, feel, and think. The narrator uses the first person singular “I,” but at no point enters the story as a character. Near the beginning, a personal story unrelated to the action of the novel is relayed to provide corroborating evidence for a generalization, hinting that the narrator is a real person.

tone  · Morally uncompromising, slightly condescending, but nevertheless deeply sympathetic to characters’ failings

tense  · Past

setting (time)  · The “early years” of the nineteenth century

setting (place)  · Raveloe, a fictional village in the English countryside

protagonist  · Silas Marner

major conflict  · Silas Marner lives for a long time without any connection to other human beings or his youthful faith in God. Though he does not struggle to find purpose and connection in his life, the novel is about his recovery of purpose, faith, and community through his finding Eppie.

rising action  · Silas spends fifteen years in relative isolation, amassing a hoard of gold coins that is then stolen by Dunstan Cass.

climax  · Eppie appears in Silas’s cottage, and he decides to adopt her.

falling action  · When Godfrey fails to claim Eppie as his daughter and marries Nancy, Silas raises Eppie. Silas’s love and care for Eppie make him a revered member of the Raveloe community, ending his isolation. Sixteen years later, Godfrey admits that he is Eppie’s father and tries to adopt her, but she elects to stay with Silas.

themes  · The individual versus the community; character as destiny; the interdependence of faith and community

motifs  · The natural world; domesticity; class

symbols  · Silas’s loom; Lantern Yard; the hearth

foreshadowing  · Silas opening his door to look outside as Eppie toddles toward his cottage; Mr. Macey telling Silas his money will be returned to him; Dunsey claiming that he always lands on his feet.

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i need an answer

by mariamgabalawy, November 02, 2013

describe the social structure of the community? (silas marner chapter 3 questions)


2 out of 8 people found this helpful

Discuss the role of chance and coincidence in the novel Silas Marner.

by touhidsm, June 19, 2014

Answer: One of the main themes of Silas Marner is the nature of chance. Chance and coincidence play an important role in the novel Silas Marner. They influence the action in this novel. The novelist George Eliot has shown how chance and coincidence contribute a lot to the development of the life of the protagonist Silas Marner and in the lives of some other character.

Chance and coincidence are determining factors in the life of Silas Marner. Marner perfectly an innocent man. He is religious man in the treat sense of the term. He giv... Read more


17 out of 22 people found this helpful

Discuss the character of Silas Marner.

by touhidsm, June 19, 2014

Answer: Silas is in no way a heroic character. He is not notably intelligent or courageous or unselfish. The novel ‘Silas Marner’ by George Eliot is famous for having some important characters. George Eliot is famous for delineating characters. Silas Marner is the unique creation of the novelist. The novelist has delineated the character of Silas Marner with all artistic beauty.

Silas Marner is a man of high religious disposition. But circumstances make him irreligious. He is the man who is the victim of circumstances. Once he dis... Read more


7 out of 11 people found this helpful

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