Study Questions & Essay Topics
1. What is the significance of Silas Marner’s nearsightedness?
2. Compare Silas Marner’s love of his money to his religious faith.
3. What does Silas Marner’s cottage represent?
Suggested Essay Topics
1. Is there a difference between superstition and religion in the novel? If so, what is the difference?
2. Discuss the importance of labor in the novel.
3. How does social class function in the novel?
4. Why does Silas wish to visit Lantern Yard again? What does his visit accomplish?
5. Compare Nancy’s and Dolly’s systems of belief.
6. Eliot sets her novel in the recent, but nonetheless irretrievable, past. In what ways does she foreshadow the end of the world she describes?
7. The novel is set up as two parallel narratives that intersect three times. How do these meetings show a progression in Silas’s status as a member of the community?
8. Discuss the significance of the novel’s epigraph.
Readers' Notes allow users to add their own analysis and insights to our SparkNotes—and to discuss those ideas with one another. Have a novel take or think we left something out? Add a Readers' Note!