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Chapter 10 describes the life of Silas now that his gold has been stolen. Reflecting upon his life when he had his gold, the narrator comments on the way that earning money and the gold he possessed gave Silas meaning, and to describe this the spider metaphor is returned to in order to describe Silas and the meaning that his gold gave him:
Bt in reality it had been an eager life, filled with immediate purpose which fenced him in from the wide, cheerless unknown. It had been a clinging life; and though the object round which its fibres had clung was a dead disrupted thing, it satisfied the need for clinging.
Note the way that the metaphor compares Silas to a spider by referencing the spider web and the way that the web was constructed around the gold Silas possessed. Even though his gold was inanimate and "dead," it gave Silas meaning and also gave him something to cling on to in a world where he had been greviously hurt.
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