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Silas Marner: The Weaver of Raveloe
Type of Work
Victorian novel, novel of manners, pastoral fiction
Time and place written
Date of first publication
William Blackwood and Sons
An anonymous omniscient speaker with no part in the
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.
Morally uncompromising, slightly condescending, but nevertheless
deeply sympathetic to characters’ failings
The “early years” of the nineteenth century
Raveloe, a fictional village in the English countryside
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
Silas spends fifteen years in relative isolation, amassing
a hoard of gold coins that is then stolen by Dunstan Cass.
Eppie appears in Silas’s cottage, and he decides to
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.
The individual versus the community; character as destiny;
the interdependence of faith and community
The natural world; domesticity; class
Silas’s loom; Lantern Yard; the hearth
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.
Ace your assignments with our guide to Silas Marner!