Explain Godfrey's thinking as he contemplated telling his father about his situation in Silas Marner.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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You really can't help but feel sorry for poor Godfrey Cass. He really is stuck between a rock and a hard place, and unfortunately, his n'er-do-well brother Dunstan knows it and lacks the moral scruples to rein in his blackmail of Godfrey. It is in Chapter Three that we are introduced to both of these characters and we see them at conflict with each other. Dunstan insists that Godfrey give him the money that he has collected as rent from one of the family tenants, and that Godfrey sell his favourite horse, Wildfire, to raise money to give to his father. In response to Dunstan's behaviour and his repeated taunts about Godfrey's situation--secretly married to one woman whilst courting another--Godfrey responds angrily:

"My patience is pretty near at an end. If you'd a little more sharpness in you, you might know that you may urge a man a bit too far, and make one leap as easy as another. I don't know but what it is so now: I may as well tell the Squire everything myself--I should get you off my back, if I get nothing else.

However, it appears that this is just bluster, because, as Godfrey reflects in his own mind, "The results of confession were not contingent, they were certain; whereas betrayal was not certain." To tell his father would ensure that he would be disinherited and turned out of the house. Continued betrayal and blackmail by his brother, however precarious and dangerous, still means that the results are not certain and there is still hope somehow that he can ensure his first marriage goes undiscovered.

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