By George Eliot
About the Author
George Eliot was the pen name of Mary Ann Evans, one of the leading English novelists of the 19th century. She was born on 22 November 1819 in rural Warwickshire. When her mother died in 1836, Eliot left school to help run her father’s household. In 1841, she moved with her father to Coventry and lived with him until his death in 1849. Eliot then travelled in Europe, eventually settling in London.
She met George Henry Lewes, with whom she lived until his death in 1878. Lewes was married and their relationship caused a scandal. Eliot was shunned by friends and family.
Lewes encouraged Eliot to write. In 1856, she began ‘Scenes of Clerical Life’, stories about the people of her native Warwickshire, which were published in ‘Blackwood’s Magazine’. The popularity of Eliot’s novels brought social acceptance, and Lewes and Eliot’s home became a meeting place for writers and intellectuals. After Lewes’ death Eliot married a friend, John Cross, who was 20 years her junior. She died on 22 December 1880 and was buried in Highgate Cemetery in north London.
The story pertains to natural human relations which depicts Eppie’s true affection towards Silas and refuses to go away with Godfrey (the real father). Silas Marner was a linen weaver and belonged to the Methodist sect of Christianity. He was a very religious man but was falsely accused of stealing a clergy’s money. He left the place and went to a distant village called Raveloe and settled down there as a linen weaver. Through his business he earned a lot of money. He went on hoarding money but as ill-luck, his money was stolen. One day while brooding over the robbery, a two year old golden haired girl troddled into his cottage while her mother lay dead in the snow near his cottage. He adopted the girl and considered a compensation for his loss of money. The girl was named Eppie and she grew a deep affection for Silas as he had brought up her as his own real daughter. When the girl was eighteen, her real father Godfrey Cass claimed to be her daughter since the girl was begotten by Molly, his first wife. Molly was an addict and died in the snow and thus she was not on good terms with her husband. Then Godfrey married Nancy. Both came to take the girl into their own house but Eppie refused to accompany them. Soon she married a youth Aarron Winthrop. After marriage they lived with Marner since Eppie felt that without her, Marner would feel lovely and there would be none to look after him.
Silas Marner: is the protagonist of the story. Silas Marner, a cloth weaver, lives in a big industrial town Lantern Yard. He belongs to the Methodist sect of Christianity and is a very religious man. He gives away his large part of earnings in charity.
Godfrey Cass: the oldest son of the village squire, is in love with one woman, Nancy Lammeter, and married secretly to another, a drug addict named Molly Farren. His evil brother, Dunstan, blackmails him.
Dunstan (Dunsey) Cass: the younger of Squire Cass’s two sons, is evil in nature and loves tormenting his older brother, Godfrey. He is aware of his weak-willed other brother’s marriage to Molly Farren and blackmails him.
Molly Farren: is the secret wife of Godfrey Cass and a drug addict.
Nancy Lammeter: is a good woman who marries Godfrey Cass later in the story.
Eppie: is the daughter of Molly Farren and Godfrey Cass and is adopted by Silas Marner. She transforms Silas Marner’s life.
Squire Cass: is the father of Godfrey and Dunstan Cass and very wealthy. He is a less-than-admirable character and a poor father.
Dr. Kimble: a physician without any diploma
Sarsah: Silas’s Fiancee
Squire Cass: Wealthiest Man
Molly Farren: 1st wife of Godfrey Cass
Ben Wintroph: Village wheel wright father of Aaaron.
Dolly Winthrop: Godmother of Eppie and wife of Ben Winthrope
Aaron Winthrop: Youngest son of Winthrops and marries Eppie
Mr. & Mrs. Osgood: A prosperous family in the village of Raveloe.
Bryce and Keating: Properous gentlemen.
Mr. Snell: Landlord of village Inn-Rainbow.
Mr. Creackenthorp: Village rector
Mr. Macey: Village Tailor
Tookey: Deputy Clerk.
Lantern yard: A humble locality
Raveloe: A village
The Red House: The name of the Cass family’s house
The Warrens: The name of the farm and house at the Lammeter’s
The Rainbow: An inn near the village Raveloe.
The novel Silas Marner has several themes for the humanity to comprehend very properly. While writing a letter in the publishers, Eliot wrote. It sets—or is intended to set—in a strong light the remedial influences of pure, natural human relations.” In order to express the theme, the author portrays this through Silas Marner, a good natured man but he has been subjected to disillusionment and change by a rude shock. Being a most religious as well as sincere and honest, he is family accused of robbery at the Church and thereby he loses his faith in God and goes to settle at Revolve to set up his loon there. There he earns a lot and hoards guineas and wins and goes on counting the money for the last fifteen years. One day his money is stolen and a two years old girl enters into his life. After some time his faith regenerates in the goodness of the world and becomes a happy citizen of Reveloe.
Silas Marner, a cloth weaver, lived in a big industrial town Lantern Yard. He belonged to the Methodist sect of Christianity and was a very religious man. He used to give away his large part of earnings in charity. By chance he became deeply acquainted with a servant girl Sarah and decided to marry her but his close friend William Dane accused him of thieving money from the church. The allegations were proved and Marner was found to be the culprit though he was not guilty. Sarah forsok Marner and married William Dane. In deep disguise, Silas left his village and settled down in a far off village Raveloe. There he became a handloom weaver. He hoarded a lot of guines and became a miser.
One dark night Dunstan Cass was passing Marner’s cottage. He made up his mind to get some loan from Marner. Seeing the door open and finding Marner absent, Dunstan stole Marner’s guineas and ran out of the cottage with two leather bags in his hands. After walking for a short distance he fell into a water pit and died. The incident of his death remained a secret for sixteen years and he was came to be known when the pits were drained of the water. Marner was deeply hurt at this loss of money and reported the matter to the villagers. The village constable investigated the matter but to no result. Consequently Marner became miserable and resumed his weaving.
It was New Year’s Eve. In the chilly and snowy weather Molly was passing with her two years old golden hair girl by the cottage of Silas. Being an addict of opium she fell in the snow and died but her girld entered into Silas’s cottage since Marner was in an epileptic fit. He did not notice her arrival. On seeing her, he felt that nature had sent him a golden haired little girl as a substitute for the loss of his gold guineas. Immediately Silas followed the footprints of the girl and traced the girl’s mother lying dead on the snow behind a bush. Silas informed the people at the Red House who buried her considering to be an unknown paper. Actually she was the wife of Godfrey Cass, the son of old Squire Cass, who had married her foolishly but he was longing to marry a very beautiful girl Nancy from a respectable and an, affluent farm owner Mr. Lammeter because Molly was proved to be a long addict and its effect caused her to die while walking over the snow with her daughter. In reality Molly was on her way to the Red House to confront her husband and expose him to his father for action but she died under the intoxication of opium in half way. When Marner entered the Red House, Godfrey recognized his daughter and on his visit to Marner’s cottage, he learnt the death of Molly. He knew that he could marry Nancy and his daughter was safe with Marner since the later was bringing her up like his own child. Godfrey married Nancy and started leading a responsible life. In between the Old Squire Cass passed away and all his property came into the possession of Godfrey unfortunately Nancy did not produce any child and she became troubled without a child in the house for the last sixteen years.
Dunstan’s dead body was (now, reduced to a skeleton) found at the bottom of a pit while the pit was drained of the water. The hoard of Sila’s guines was found intact close to his skeleton and the money was handed over to Silas. At this stage, Godfrey made up his mind reveal the secret of his first marriage with Molley and the death of his wife sixteen years back along with the stay of his daughter Eppie with Silas. He was desiring to bring back Eppie since he was her real father. Getting courage, Godfrey told everything to his wife Nancy. She remained quite unmoved but she revealed if he had told this earlier, they could have done their duty towards Eppie. Godfrey was happy at her generous nature but at the same time she became somewhat agitated over Godfrey for keeping it a secret since she would have accepted Eppie as his daughter. Godfrey explained if the told his earlier, she might not have married him. There appeared tears in Nancy’s eyes. Godfrey requested her for having an apology for the wrong but Nancy praised him for his loyality and love. Then Godfrey proposed to go to Marner’s house for claiming the girl. Then they decided to leave for Marner’s cottage on that very night.
On reaching Marner’s Cottage, Godfrey and Nancy told the truth. To Silas. He asked him why he had not told earlier when he was in Red House along with the girl in his arms. Godfrey accepted his blunder and repented over his foolishness. Silas told that the girl was his own daughter and it would be painful for him to part with her. The decision was left on Eppie who did not accept her real father’s offer for her rather she pointed out that she could not leave the man who had brought-her up for so many years. She told that she was going to marry Aaron who belonged to the upper class family. Thus Godfrey and Nancy returned disappointed. In the due course of time, Eppie married to Aaron and it was decided that the married couple would stay with Silas so that he might not feel lonely. On his part, Godfrey did a lot for Eppie and gave a garden along with the wedding feast for the villagers. But Godfrey’s secret remained a secret from the villagers.
1. Silas Marner is introduced and described.
2. Silas is falsely accused and leaves Lantern Yard.
1. Silas moves to Raveloe and hoards the earnings from his weaving for fifteen years.
2. As a result of his curing Sally Oates, the people of Raveloe consider him even more mysterious.
3. Silas mends and keeps a small brown pot he has accidentally broken.
1. Members of the Cass family are introduced and described.
2. Dunstan blackmails Godfrey into selling his horse, Wildfire.
3. Godfrey’s past is revealed.
1. Dunstan sells Wildfire and then causes the horse’s death by careless riding during the hunt.
2. Dunstan steals Silas’s gold.
1. Silas returns from an errand and discovers that his gold is missing.
2. Silas suspects Jem Rodney and goes to the Rainbow Inn.
Conversation among the community members at the Rainbow Inn.
1. Silas enters the Rainbow Inn and accuses Jem Rodney.
2. After learning that Jem had been at the Inn all evening, Silas apologizes to Jem and tells what he knows of the theft.
3. It is decided to go to the village constable’s house to have one of the men deputized to begin an investigation.
1. Dunstan fails to return home with the money from Wildfire’s sale.
2. The villagers talk about the theft.
3. Godfrey learns about Wildfire’s death.
4. Godfrey contemplates confessing to his father.
1. Godfrey tells his father, the Squire, about Wildfire.
2. The Squire asks Godfrey about marrying Nancy Lammeter.
1. The people of Raveloe become friendlier with Silas, talking with him in town, visiting him at home, and giving him small gifts.
2. The Winthrop family is introduced, Dolly in particular, who comes to visit with her young son, Aaron. She offers to help Silas in his housekeeping if he ever needs it.
3. Christmas Day is spent by families among themselves; Dunstan is still missing from the Cass family.
1. The New Year’s celebration at the Red House gets under way.
2. As the party proceeds, the men make conversation independently.
3. Nancy and Godfrey dance, followed by a conversation marked by assertions and defenses.
1. Molly comes to Raveloe to confront Godfrey but dies in the snow of a drug overdose.
2. Molly’s child follows the light and enters the open cottage of Silar during his fit.
3. Silas regains consciousness, discovers the child, and follows her tracks in the snow to trace her mother’s body.
1. The party continues well into the night when Silas enters the Red House with Molly and Godfrey’s child.
2. Soon after the doctor proclaims the child’s mother dead, Godfrey secretly confirms that it is his wife, Molly.
3. Godfrey returns to the party and determines to please Nancy and pursue her.
1. Molly is buried with little ceremony.
2. Silas undertakes raising Molly’s child with help from Dolly Winthrop.
3. Silas christens her and named the Eppie.
1. Godfrey keeps an eye on Eppie.
2. Dunstan is given up as gone forever.
1. Sixteen years have passed since Eppie came into Silas’s life.
2. The effects of the passage of time on the main characters are described.
3. Eppie gets Aaron to prepare a garden for her and Silas.
4. Silas tells Dolly about his life in Lantern Yard.
5. Eppie talks of marrying Aaron and their living with Silas.
1. Nancy’s sister, Priscilla, and their father join Godfrey and Nancy for Sunday dinner.
2. Nancy and especially Godfrey regret for not having any children.
3. Godfrey wanted to adopt but Nancy showed irrelevance.
1. Godfrey finds Dunstan’s skeleton and returns to tell Nancy that his brother has drowned in the Stone Pit after robbing Silas.
2. Godfrey goes on to confess his prior marriage and fatherhood of Eppie.
3. Godfrey and Nancy decide to go together to Silas Marner’s to make the truth known.
1. Nancy and Godfrey visit Silas and Eppie.
2. Godfrey proposes taking Eppie into his home, but Eppie rejects.
3. After Godfrey asserts his fatherhood and his plan to make Eppie a lady, Silas and Godfrey discuss what is the best for Eppie.
4. Eppie firmly and finally makes clear her intention to remain with Silas and working class people.
Nancy and Godfrey returned in silence Godfrey decide to keep his fatherhood a secret.
Silas and Eppie return to Lantern Yard, where they find things have changed greatly. Silas’s old life has been completely erased.
Eppie and Aaron are married, and the midding feast is arranged by Godfrey.
1. Mr. Ben Winthrop: Ben Winthrop is the leader of the Church choir because of his musical talent. He is the village wheel-wright. He is a man of humorous nature full of joviality and cordiality. He is fond of drinking while his wife Dolly is a tolerant woman who goes on condemning his vices. His son Aaron has inherited his own musical talent who can sing a tune off str aight, like a throstle. After praising Aaron, he turns to Mr. Tookey and says that he is fit to pronounce his professional words like ‘Amen’ because of his decent voice.
2. Aaron: Aaron is the son of Ben Winthrop and Dolly Winthrop. He has inherited the singing talent from his father. His mother has specific proud over Aaron for this talent and takes him to Marner’s cottage to sing a verse to Marner. On the occasion of New Year’s Eve party at the Red House, he asks his father if the cock’s-feather has any little hole while the feather never falls down. He becomes friendly with Eppie and accepts her marrige proposal. They serve Silas in the old age and refuse the proposal given by Godfrey and Nancy. They promise to provide all possible comfort to Silas during his lonely old age.
3. Mr. Lammeter: Mr. Lammeter is the father of Priscilla and Nancy. He is an affluent man having a large agricultural land called. The Warrens’ and a dairy farm. He is devoted to his daughters. Priscilla remains unmarried and loves after her father and will manage the land and the other properties. Mr. Lammeter feels ecstasy when Squire Cass hints to marry Nancy for his son Godfrey but Lammeter shows some indifference. On the New Year’s party Mr. Squire Cass flatters Lammeter for the marriage and does not get any encouraging reply.
4. Mr. Crackenthrop: He is the rector of Raveloe and holds a good repute among the villagers. Thus he runs the local church and performs all duties. He plays an important role in investigating at Marner’s cottage. Being a sociable man he attends all the social functions do the village gentry. He was not at all a lofty figure but simply a merry eyed man. As for paying compliments to the beautiful girls, he pays a neat compliment to Nancy at the party.
5. Dr. Kimble:He is actually a physician without any diploma. He is thin and agile and flits about the room by keeping his hands in the pockets. He is also chivalrous towards beautiful girl as is the rector. He also asks Nancy to dance with him. He can examine the ladies promptly who lies on the snow-covered ground behind a bush to find life. He declares Molly dead whom Godfrey had married lavishes.
6. Silas Marner: is a handloom weaver by profession in Lantern Yard. He was accused of thieving in the church falsely by his most intimate friend William Dane and then Silas came to settle in Reveloe and lived there for fifteen years. He worked there on his loom and earned a lot of money and hoarded several guineas. He was simply a pallid young man, with prominent, short sighted. He used to keep aloof from everybody and sought no man’s or woman’s company except for the purpose of his profession. He minded his own business of weaving and the earned money was hidden somewhere in his cottage.
In Lantern yard, he was a member of a Methodist Sect of Christianity and gave away money in charity. On occasions he had the epileptic fits. In Lantern Yard, people used to think him to be a young man of nobel character. Here he won the heart of a girl named Sarah but was falsely accused of robbery. Sarah married William Dane. At Ravoloe, work was his concern. He seemed to weave, like the spider, from pure impulse, without reflection. Through his professional work he hoarded the guineas. The crowns and the half-crowas and hid it in the earth under his loom. The village children called him ‘Old Master Marner’.
About Christmas time, his money was stolen that put him in deep gloom. Some of the kind fellows like Dolly Winthrop tried to console him in every possible way. But there came a sudden change when a little two years girl stopped into his house and at that time he was with an epileptic fit. On being conscious, he considered the girl like gold lying before his fire place. On the advice of the villagers, he adopted the girl and named Eppie. There came a change in his views and the loss of guineas no longer haunted him and thus the little girl became substitute for the gold guineas. Eppie grew up as a beautiful girl and he lavished all his care and love on her. He told Eppie everything about the robbery. Now Eppie was eighteen years old when Godfrey Cass and his second wife Nancy came to take the girl away from Marner but Eppie refused to leave Marner who had treated and brought up her as his own daughter. She resolved not to forsake him in the old age. In between Marner’s gold was discovered and was handed over to him. It was another reward for him.
If we examine the facts, Marner was punished by fate in a robbery and became pauper but the entry of the golden haired girl generated in him kindness and self-sacrifice with human sympathy on his part. This development marked the regeneration in him and it served as a good reward for Marner in his life through Eppie who resolved to stay with him even after her wedded life.
7. Portray Godfrey Cass: was the eldest son of Squire Cass who owned sufficient land and other property. Squire being a widower, failed to pay deep attention to the upbringing of his sons, so they grew up as irresponsible fellows. Only Godfrey made a good future for himself. His brother Dunstan or Dunsan was a spiteful, fearing fellow who used to enjoy drinking etc. but due to lack of foresight, Godfrey ran short of money and consented to sell his horse Wildfire. In between Godfrey secretly married a woman Molly who had turned out to be a very bad specimen of her sex. She was a strong- addict and begot a daughter. Dunstan was entrusted with the work of selling the horse but the horse got killed in an accident. Feeling depressed, while on his way to his house, Dunstan stole guineas form Marner’s cottage but he fell into a pit and died with money.
Godfrey was a cunning fellow and collected rent from the tenant without telling it to his father. One day he told his father about this which made Squire Cass angry. The Squire also reminded Godfrey about his marriage with Nancy but Godfrey did not tell his earlier marriage with Molly.
Godfrey was physically strong and robust. He brooded over the facts and realised that marrying with Molly had put a sort of blight on his life. So he cursed his own folly and thought of marrying Nancy for good living.
But Godfrey heaved a sigh of relief on finding that Molly was dead. He also felt a deep hurt within himself for seeing his daughter in the arms of Marner as he could not claim her to be his real daughter. In due course he married Nancy and thus spent sixteen years of conjugal happiness. Nancy and Godfrey remained unhappy for not giving a birth to a child in the house. Eppie was fast growing under the care of Marner. Now something unexpected happened and Dunstan’s skeleton was found at the bottom of a stone-pit near Marner’s cottage with guineas bags belonging to Marner. Godfrey got the chance to reveal that Eppie was his own daughter by his first marriage and suggested her to claim for their house. Both visited Marner’s but the later asked Eppie to decide. Eppie told that she could not depart with the old man who had brought her upon as his own daughter. Both went disappointed to their house.
Godfrey was a kind fellow and in order to express his parental feelings, he arranged a wedding feast for the villagers on the occasion of Eppie’s marriage. He also gave her a garden and a huge property. Here Godfrey’s regeneration started with his realisation of his breach of the moral code in having a secret of marriage unknown to Nancy.
8. Nancy Lammeter: She had been the most beautiful girl in the whole region. She arrives to attend the New Year’s Eve ball with her father at the Red House but her mind was centred upon Godfrey Cass who had been courting her for some time. At that time Godfrey did not show relevance towards her since he was secretly married to another woman Molly. Then Nancy went upstairs and showed good etiquettes. Her appearance and everything else produced an impression of quite perfectness. Her cheek and neck looked pretty. Her laces were costly. In reality she possessed the real attributes of a lady.
These came Godfrey Cass towards her. Nancy liked it very much and thought that one day she would be the mistress of the Red House i.e., the Squire’s wife. People at the Red House paid compliments to Nancy on her beauty. As far as the Squire was concerned, he was anxious to have Nancy for Godfrey. At the time of dance, she played in a diplomatic manner and showed her unwillingness to dance with him but inwardly she wanted. Circumstances took a turn and Godfrey was married to Nancy. They had a very happy life but could not give birth to a child. The lack of child made them unhappy. In fact Eppie the child of Cass was staying with Marner. Finding appropriate time, Godfrey revealed the secret of Eppie and his early marriage. Nancy showed generosity and agreed to bring Eppie home. She proved a perfect wife to Godfrey arranged a weeding feast for the villagers on the occasion of Eppie’s marriage.
9. Dolly Winthrops: was the wife of Ben Wintrop and the mother of Aaron. She is a great well-wisher of Silas Marner and offers him a valuable advice for upbringing the child Eppie. During his troubled waters. Silas used to consult her the author describes her as a woman of “Scrupulous conscience in all respects”. She has always performed her duties. Without locking her calmness. She is the right person to contact in case of any kind of mishaps like ill or death in a family. She is a good-looking woman with fresh complexions.
She is deeply worried about Silas as she has seen him in the light of a sufferer”. She considers it as her daily to comfort him and help him she steers him towards the faith through Silas is a non-believer and pays no specific attention but she never tells discouraged. On the occasion of the Christmas, due takes hyer son Aaron to Marner’s cottage to sing a Christmas carol for him. She accept Eppie’s marriage with her Aaron and allows the couple to stay with Silas during his old days.
10. William Dane: was a very fine scheming fellow who can go to any extent to fulfil his selfish ends. He was a cunning smart and belongs to the religious sect of Lantern yard. Silas considered him a good friend. While Silas was profoundly religious, William’s feelings were not that deep. He seemed to be with the brethern only as far as he is directly benefitted.
He became jealous of Silas when he had developed a liking for his finance Sarah and longed to marry her. With the deacon falling ill, wave got an opportunity to accuse and defame Silas was found accused of robbing money and leaving his knife at the crime scene. He managed to make Silas a scapegoat. Silas lost faith in God and human kindness and thus left Lantern Yard to lead a secluded life in Revoloe.
11. Eppie: It is by destiny that she happens to toddle in Marner’s cottage when he is under an epileptic fit. On getting consciousness, he is astonished to see a golden haired girl in his cottage. She plays an important role in the novel and without her the story turns zero. She is a passive girl by nature.
As nothing is known about her father in the early stages and her mother dies in the snow. She becomes an orphan. On her entry into the cottage, there occurs a sea-change in the life of depressed Silas. He gets regeneration and views her as a compensation for his stolen guineas. Silas reports everything about the girl to the villagers who in turn advise him to adopt the girl. His neighbour Dolly Winthroph, the God mother, helps the girl in rearing up. In the meantime the girl becomes intimated with her son Aaron and at the end of the novel we can note her marriage with Aaron.
She certainly shows her heroic qualities, when Godfrey and his second wife Nancy arrive to claim and take her away to their own home, Eppies expresses her heroic quality and resolved not to part with the old man who had reared her up from childhood onwards and who needs her in the old age. Godfrey and Nancy tell her that they would make a lady of her in case she goes with them. But Eppie rejects their proposal and tells that she is in love with a working man and will marry him. This shows her sincerity, loyalty, faithfulness and true affection.
Long Answer Type Questions
Q1. Describe the circumstances under which Silas had to leave Lantern yard.
Ans. Silas Marner was from lantern yard and came as a weaver in the village of Ravelae. But the villagers did not like him since he was not a native of their town. His brownish squint eyes present a fearful air about him. He was a herbal medicine man. There he befriended with Dane, with the passage of time he passed fifteen years there and his cloth was in great demand. At Lantern yard he was a part of religious sect and known as the Chapel Community. His affair started a girl named Sarah. But he friend wans wanted to marry him.
Dane became jealous and manipulated matters in such a way that Silas was held guilty of stealing money from the house of a dying minister of the church. He was accused because him knife was found at the crime scene. It was insisted by ministers and wave, that Silas should accept his sin and atone for it. Marner found himself in the grieved state and went away with utter despair. He sat alone thinking at the mischief of wane. On the second day, Sarah informed him about termination of their engagement. In utter dismay and despair, Silas left Lantern yard for good and came to stay at Raveloe.
Q2. Describe the circumstances under which Eppie reached Silas cottage.
Ans. Molly Farren was the first wife of Godfrey. She was having a girl from him. But Godfrey was enjoying at a party at the Red House with Nancy, the finance of Fodfrey, Farren being neglected by Godfrey decided to expose Godfrey for neglecting her so she started through the snow and by evening reached Raveloe. It was darkness and heavy rain. To bear cold, she had taken a heavy dose of opium. The girl was with her. Under the intoxication she longed to lie down and slept on the road near the cottage of Silas Marner and died soon after. Her clutch on the child became loose and the child opened her eyes.
She saw a bright say or light on the snow. She followed or with unsteady steps and entered the cottage of Marner. She sat down near the hearth and soon slept in the warmth of the fire. In his fit of epilepsy, he did not know when the child walked into the cottage as he kept his doors open. On regaining consciousness he saw the golden curls of the baby girl. He tried to search her parents but to no result. He brought her up and christened Eppie.
Q3. On first seeing Eppie’s Golden hair, Silas thought that he had got back his gold. But the child proved to be an even better treasure. comment.
Ans. Eppie’s presence is felt in chapter 12 when she is just two years girl. It is by destiny that she happens to troddle in Silds’ cottage when he is under an epiletic fit. On having conscious, Silas is astonished to see a golden haired girl in his cottage. Immediately he thought he had got back his stolen gold. It was rather a whim in his mind against the golden hair.
With the passage of time and under the advice of Dolly Wintrop, the girl is reared up by Silas though he tries the best in ascertain her parents but to no result. Eppie become so much engrossed with Silas and considers him as his real father. She does not want to part with him for a single moment. She becomes matures and when her real father Godfrey and Nancy arrive to take Eppie, she refuses and tells that she can’t part with the man who has reared her up since childhood. He needs her utmost during his old age. She has a flow of the milk of kindness for Silas. After marriage she remains with Silas. Thus she proves to be a better treasure for Manner.
Q4. I can’t say what I should have done about that, Godfrey. I should never have married anybody else. But I wasn’t worth doing wrong for—nothing is in this world. Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand—not even our marrying wasn’t, you see.
Ans. Nancy gently upbraids Godfrey with these lines, after he confesses that he is Eppie’s father and has hidden that fact from Nancy for eighteen years. Nancy’s reaction is not one of anger, but instead one of deep regret that Godfrey had not claimed Eppie long ago, so they could have raised her themselves When Godfrey responds that Nancy would never have married him had she known of his secret child, she responds with these lines, a gentle condemnation of Godfrey’s act and the thinking that justified it.
The quote brings Nancy’s “unalterable little code” of behaviour into confrontation with Godfrey’s slippery, self-justifying equivocation. While Nancy and her code are portrayed as occasionally arbitrary and even illogical, Eliot leaves no doubt that Nancy is a deeply moral person. In taking Godfrey to task for simply molding his actions to contingency, Nancy is passing Eliot’s judgment, as well. Here, as elsewhere Eliot s narrative punishes those who, by allowing ends to justify means, ignore basic questions of right and wrong.
Q5. Describe the rustic life presented in the novel, ‘Silas Marner.’
Ans. When George Eliot wrote this novel, she was remembering her girlhood in Warwickshire countryside. The story is written when the Industrial Revolution had encroached upon agricultural England. But villages like Raveloe were untouched by industrialism. There the agriculturists led a peaceful life. It was cut off from the outside and an occasional peddler visited it.
There was the broad division into the higher and the lower classes in Raveloe. Squire Cuss of the Red House and the Lammeters of the Warms represented the higher folk. But they were free from snobbery. The Squire used to visit the Rainbow Inn, which was the favourite resort of the lower classes in the evenings. Crackenthorp, the rector and Dr. Kimble were the next in importance. Macey, the tailor-cum-parish clerk, was given special-respect for his age and his superior wisdom.
The lower classes formed the bulk of the Raveloe community. Ben, the wheelwright. Dowlas, the farrier, Master Lundy, the butcher, Tookey, the deputy-clerk, were some of them. Mrs. Dolly, the wheelwright’s wife was popular with all for her kind services at all emergencies. She was a model rustic matron, industrious, patient and philosophical. Molly Farren, whom Godfrey married in secret, must have had sone respectability; but she became a drug-addict, to which she fell a victim on the New Year’ Eve.
The Raveloe community had its simple pleasures and pastimes. On Sundays, the villagers attended the church service, where Ben Winthrop led the choir. They engaged themselves in the rustic preoccupations during the week. In the evenings, they assembled at the Rainbow Inn for drink and gossip. Chapter six of the novel gives a fine and faithful account of lively and spirited discussions at the inn on the Christmas Eve. Snell, the landlord acted as the peace-maker, whenever the discussion became personal and aggressive. On the New Year’s Eve, the Squire entertained his friends and tenants to a feast in the Red House, which was a highlight of the Raveloe life. A dance followed the dinner. But privileged persons like Macey were allowed to be spectators of the dance. Chapter twelve gives a colourful account of the New Year’s party at the Red House.
The village life at Raveloe was smooth, innocent and pleasant. The rustics were unsophisticated and good-natured. They were most uneducated and their talk was in the provincial dialect. But all the same, their talk was spicy and spirited. They had a simple faith in religion, marked by regular church-going and resignation to the Divine will. They lived in amity with one another, though they might argue fiercely with one another. This is the picture that has been presented in Silas Marner.
Q6. How does ‘Nemesis’ operate between the two protagonists in the novel?
Ans. Nemesis plays its role in the second part of the novel. In the first half of the novel, the author shows Silas Marner, the weaver, his loss of money, Godfrey’s secret marriage with Molly and his failure to repay his father’s money which he had received from a tenant on his father’s behalf.
Marner lived in Lantern Yard with his faith in Christianity. But he was falsely accused of theft. So he found himself a sinner though he was perfectly honest. His girlfriend Sarah married the man who had brought a false charge of theft against Marner. Thus he lost his religious faith, left the town under the veil of disrepute. Losing his faith in God and in his religion was his first misdeed but as per his Bible-reader God did exist.
In Reveloe, he used for lead a solitary life and the villagers seemed strange to him. He could not adopt the religion of the villagers there. His life became miserable but he developed a strong passion for money. He accumulated a lot of treasure but spent less. He became a miser and Nemesis showed its role when all his money was stolen and he felt both desolate and hopeless on being excommunicated by his sect in Lantern Yard. But fortune smiled on him on receiving a little golden haired girl who became the instrument of his regeneration.
Godfrey Cass had secretly married a low-class girl but did not disclose to his father lest he should be disinherited from the property. He kept the regetting of his daughter a secret. He also misappropriated his father’s money but showed his softness towards Nancy on the occasion of the New Year’s party at his father house. It had been his worst deed when he did not acknowledge his daughter which he saw in Marner’s arms. He committed a breach of moral code by not revealing to Nancy the fasts about his earlier wife and a daughter. The Nemesis showed its teeth. Nancy could not produce a child but became miserable for having a child. After ten years, Godfrey proposed to Nancy to adopt the girl kept by Marner but Nancy did not like the suggestion. This was surely a blow to Godfrey from Nemesis. When both Godfrey and Nancy visited Marner’s house for Eppie, she refused to part with from Marner. It was the last blow for Godfrey from Nemesis. Thus Nemesis in fast operating in the novel ‘Silas Marner.’
Q7. Describe the ironical situation in which Silas Marner had to leave Lantern Yard.
Ans. Before going into detail let us know that in an ironical situation we find quite opposite in nature what we say. Here Silas Marner becomes the victim of an irony though he was the most Christian man at the village. He has come in affection with Sarah, a housemaid servant in the village. His most intimate friend William helps in making him accused of theft at the Church and thereby marriages Sarah himself. Thus the facts become quite opposite and he has to leave the village though he never desired to do so.
Before coming to the village of Raveloe, Marner used to live in the town of Lantern Yard where he had been enjoying an excellent reputation till he felt compelled to quit that place. William Dane who claimed to be Marner’s best friend framed him as he was jealous of Marner, and wanted to marry his fiancée Sarah, a young maid-servant. Dane manipulated matters in such a way that Silas Marner was held guilty by the community of having stolen money from the house of a dying minister of the church. He was accused because his knife was found at the crime scene. He didn’t remember committing the murder or stealing the bag of money. But the minister, other congregation members and William insisted that he should accepted his sin and atone for it. Marner found himself in grieved and went away with utter despair in his heart. His trust in man and God suffered a rude jolt. For a whole day, he sat alone. On the second day, he received word from same that their engagement was terminated. He received the news silently and returned to his work. In a month’s time Sarah was married to William. After this Silas left Lantern Yard for good and at last came to Raveloe and settled down there as a weaver leading a solitary life.
Q8. In the novel “Redemption or regeneration is very much predominant.” Justify your answer with valid reasons.
Ans. Marner and Godfrey are the two main characters in the novel basically both are good at heart but each of them become the victims of some adverse circumstances. Silas Marner, a weaver of Lantern Yard was a noble hearted and a charitable fellow but he was falsely implicated in robbery at the church. Consequently he lost faith in the religious beliefs of the community but Sarah with whom he had a word for marriage, changed the course of his life as she married another man and this man had betrayed Marner. As a result of all this, he left the village, lost his faith in the God and settled in Raveloe to lead a solitary life. But he earned his living through weaving and hoarded a huge amount of money. He developed a strong passion for money and became a miser. Exessive work reduced his figure and children used to call him an old man. For sixteen long years, he remained aloof. By chance the entry of a golden haired little girl changed his course of life and here started his process of regeneration. He became human, sympathetic and adopted the girl. This led to his fast development of relations with the people of Reveloe. Human fellowship entered into his mind and there developed a deep affection for Eppie, Mrs. Dolly Winthrop (The God-mother of Eppie) and her son Aaron.
On the other hand Godfrey strayed away from the right path by marrying an addict. The couple had a daughter but the ‘wbole affair was kept a secret from all. Godfrey also deceived his father by misappropriating his money. He again committed a blunder by failing to acknowledge his little girl which was in the arms of Marner. He further deceived his wife Nancy by keeping the secret of his marriage and a daughter for sixteen years. In reality Godfrey was facing deterioration in his character. Finding an appropriate occasion, Godfrey opened his heart of first marriage before Nancy and suggested to bring back Eppie from Marner. Both went to Marner and claimed Eppie. Thus here we can see the survival of natural feelings and natural affections and a rejection of false pretenses to respectability that bring about Godfrey’s redemption.