How did Silas reconcile his old faith at Lantern Yard with his new faith in Raveloe in Silas Marner?

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Much of the first part of Silas Marner is concerned with Silas’s change from holding spiritual beliefs to becoming a total materialist. The author shows how this loss of faith resulted from Silas’s profound sense of betrayal. While it was one person, Willliam Dane, who betrayed him, Dane’s act generated...

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Much of the first part of Silas Marner is concerned with Silas’s change from holding spiritual beliefs to becoming a total materialist. The author shows how this loss of faith resulted from Silas’s profound sense of betrayal. While it was one person, Willliam Dane, who betrayed him, Dane’s act generated a domino effect as the other community members failed to support Silas in the face of unjust accusations. Silas cannot reconcile their behavior with the beliefs they had espoused. As he physically leaves Lantern Yard and his former identity, he also spiritually divests himself of the faith he associates with that place.

In becoming a workaholic, ruthless businessman and finally a miser, Silas wholly substitutes a belief in the power of capitalism and wealth for the religious beliefs. He needs a narrowly defined, rigid system in which to place his faith. The money itself, in its shiny gold form, becomes a false idol that he worships. It is only when he loses that gold and the golden child, Eppie, arrives to take its place that he begins to see how false the path was that he had chosen. Although he does not become a religious believer in the same sense as before, he invests his energies in a living person thus demonstrating his essential goodness, and is able to assume a position within a supportive community.

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