In Silas Marner, how could Silas' desire to hoard money be an emotional reaction to what he experienced at Lantern Yard?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

There is definitely a direct correlation between what happened in Lantern Yard and the later actions of Silas in hoarding money and almost worshipping it. Remember what happened at Lantern Yard and the crime of which Silas was accused. Silas was accused of taking money from the church, and he later realised that his best friend was the person who framed him in order to get him out of the way so he could marry the woman Silas was hoping to marry. Everything Silas once held dear in life was taken away from him, and he realised that he could not rely on people any more, no matter how close he thought they were. Silas, in one fell stroke, loses faith in fellow humans and in God, as his blasphemous remarks before the council reveal:

But you may prosper, for all that: there is no just God that governs the earth righteously, but a God of lies, that bears witness against the innocent.

As a result, Silas comes to believe that he can have faith in one thing alone: money. His avarice and the way he hoards his money clearly demonstrates this. As a direct result of his betrayal at the hands of his best friend, he becomes an isolated outsider. It is therefore particularly significant that, when Eppie enters his life, he becomes less fixated on money, as this indicates he is beginning to trust in others once again.