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Can you please explain this quotation from Silas Marner: "No one knew where wandering...

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user3120320

Posted June 10, 2013 at 3:02 PM via web

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Can you please explain this quotation from Silas Marner: "No one knew where wandering men had their homes or their origin; and how was a man to be explained unless you at least knew somebody who knew his father and mother?"

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 10, 2013 at 4:30 PM (Answer #1)

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Silas Marner, a previously friendly man, keeps very much to himself in the town of Raveloe. He and others like him would have been distrusted as he is a "wandering man" and, because of his unfriendly demeanor, very little is known about him or his "origin." The town is a microcosm of society itself and so strangers who do not endear themselves within their community are viewed with "superstition (which) clung easily round every person or thing." Silas has himself been betrayed and he is not about to befriend anyone, even at the expense of his reputation.

Silas Marner tells a story of misunderstandings and mistrust. If Silas is not prepared to talk to his neighbors, he cannot expect them to understand him because a man can only "be explained" when something is known of his heritage - "his father and mother." People were judged based on their parents - social status could be established which is why, without any measure of the man the community would be suspicious and "superstitious." perhaps his parents were witches or murderers and so on and Silas has come into their midst to spread evil or wickedness.

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