Summary & Analysis
Part I, Chapters 1–2
Part I, Chapters 3–4
Part I, Chapters 5–6
Part I, Chapters 7–8
Part I, Chapters 9–10
Part I, Chapters 11–12
Part I, Chapters 13–15
Part II, Chapters 16–18
Part II, Chapters 19–21, Conclusion
Important Quotations Explained
Full Book Quiz
Analysis of Major Characters
Themes, Motifs & Symbols
Part 1, Chapters 1–2
Part 1, Chapters 3–4
Part 1, Chapters 5–6
Part 1, Chapters 7–8
Part 1, Chapters 9–10
Part 1, Chapters 11–12
Part 1, Chapters 13–15
Part 2, Chapters 16–18
Part 2, Chapters 19–21, Conclusion
Suggestions for Further Reading
How to Write Literary Analysis
Suggested Essay Topics
How to Cite This SparkNote
Table of Contents
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Full Book Quiz
Why are weavers typically objects of suspicion in Silas’s day?
They are seen as doing womanly work
They are rootless and have specialized knowledge
They wear only linen clothing
They have bad eyesight
. How does Silas know about herbal medicine?
His mother taught him
It was part of the training from his religious sect in Lantern Yard
He has read up on the topic
He doesn’t, he only pretends to
. What is dropsy?
A part of a loom
A traditional British breakfast drink
The name of Silas’s pet bunny rabbit
A disease that causes abnormal swelling in the body
. Why doesn’t Silas protest his innocence when he is framed for theft?
He is not allowed to speak
He is having a cataleptic fit at the time
He believes God will clear him
He believes he actually did steal the money while having a cataleptic fit
During the period in his life when all he does is work and hoard money, Silas is likened to:
A narrow, nearly dried-up rivulet
A handle or crooked tube
All of the above
From where does Godfrey obtain the one hundred pounds that he lends Dunsey?
The sale of Godfrey’s horse, Wildfire
The rent paid by one of the Squire’s tenants
Money that Godfrey had set aside to give his wife, Molly
Godfrey’s winnings at cards
. Why does Godfrey put up with Dunsey’s bullying?
Dunsey can beat him up
Dunsey has threatened to expose Godfrey’s secret marriage
Godfrey is trying to set an example of good Christian forbearance
Godfrey is a masochist and enjoys abuse
. Why does Dunsey almost turn around and return home before he gets to the hunt?
He thinks of the idea of bullying Silas into lending money to Godfrey
He wants Godfrey to have to admit to the Squire where the missing money went
He has forgotten his riding whip
He gets cold feet
. Where does Silas go when he finds his gold missing?
Dolly Winthrop’s house
The Red House
. What is a farrier?
A species of large fox
A rank of cavalry officer
Someone who shoes horses and generally tends to livestock diseases
A knot used to tie off a piece of linen
. To whom does everyone in town suspect the mysterious tinder-box belongs?
. What do Mr. Crackenthorp, Mr. Macey, and Dolly Winthrop all suggest when they come to visit Silas after he loses his money?
That he take up a collection
That he lock his door
That he go to church
That he adopt a child
. Why does Nancy arrive at the New Year’s dance resolved to reject Godfrey?
Her father does not approve of him
She finds him lacking in character
He has mocked her strict code of behavior
He has been too forward with her
. Why is Molly Farren coming to the New Year’s dance?
She wants to announce her and Godfrey’s marriage to everyone there
She thinks she can win Godfrey’s love by dancing with him
She wants to apologize to Godfrey for something she has said
She wants her daughter to be adopted by Godfrey and Nancy
. Why do Nancy and Priscilla wear the same dress to the New Year’s dance?
Because Priscilla wants to look like Nancy
Because they are going to perform a duet
It is purely by accident
Because Nancy insists that sisters should dress identically
. How is Eppie able to enter Silas’s cottage so easily?
Silas is out on an errand and has left the door open
The door is locked, but she climbs through the window
Silas is holding the door open and is in the midst of one of his fits
She comes in the back door, which has no lock
. What is Silas’s first thought when he notices that the mass of gold on his hearth is in fact a baby girl?
That he should lock his door
That he will adopt the little girl
That the little girl’s mother can’t be far away
That the little girl is his dead sister, coming back to him in a dream
. What does Silas attempt to do to discipline Eppie?
Read her long passages from the Bible
Tie her to the loom
Put her in the coal-hole
. Why doesn’t Godfrey go by the title of Squire?
His father’s property was divided up at his death and therefore Godfrey did not inherit the title
He finds it pretentious
Squire was actually his father’s first name
Nancy cannot pronounce it
. What is Godfrey’s role in Eppie’s life?
He takes her on walks
He helps pay for things and donates furniture
He reads her bedtime stories
He tells her about her mother
. Why does Nancy refuse for so long to adopt Eppie?
She dislikes children
She thinks Godfrey will love Eppie more than he loves her
She thinks it is wrong for Godfrey and her to have something that fate has denied them
She suspects that Eppie is Godfrey’s child and wants him to be punished
. What prompts Godfrey to confess his secret?
He finds out that he is terminally ill
Dunsey’s remains are discovered in the drained stone-pit
He gets drunk
All of the above
. When Godfrey confesses to Eppie that he is her father, what is her reaction?
She is repulsed by him and has no desire to leave Silas for him
She is tempted by the life he offers but decides to stay with Silas nonetheless
She is angry with him, primarily for having abandoned her mother
She sympathizes with Nancy for having married such a coward
. Why does Silas decide to return to Lantern Yard for a visit?
He is looking for work
He wants to find out if he was ever cleared of theft, and to ask his old minister about the drawing of the lots
He wants Eppie to see where he grew up
He wants to show his former sect that he has succeeded in spite of his excommunication
. What is Nancy’s reaction to Godfrey’s confession that he had a previous marriage and child?
She leaves him for Dunsey
She pretends not to hear him
She expresses regret that he didn’t tell her sooner, so they could have adopted Eppie
She says that she would never have married him if she had known
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