Silas Marner Questions and Answers
by George Eliot

Silas Marner book cover
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How would you describe Silas in Silas Marner?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Before being framed for a crime he did not commit by his former close friend, William Dane, Silas Marner was a joyful, devoted Christian in his hometown of Lantern Yard. As a young man in Lantern Yard, Silas was trusted and well-liked by his peers. After being betrayed by William Dane, Silas loses his faith, leaves Lantern Yard, and travels to Raveloe, where he lives on the outskirts of town alone in a small cottage. In Raveloe, Silas spends the majority of his time weaving and hoarding his money. He is an extremely reclusive, lonely man, who rarely interacts with his community members. Silas lives a joyless life and is only comfortable when he is at his loom or counting his coins. After being robbed by Dunstan Cass, Silas discovers and adopts Eppie, who wanders into his home on a wintry night. Eppie changes Silas's life for the better as he begins to rely on the help of his neighbors in Raveloe to raise her. As Eppie matures and grows older, her presence allows Silas to leave his small cottage and interact with his community members. By the end of the novel, Silas develops into a loving, well-liked member of Raveloe's community, who has a positive reputation and enjoys engaging in social interactions.

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kapokkid eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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At the beginning of his life, Silas is a devoted and happy church-goer and has lots of friends and they really think highly of him.  He is devout and hard working and has a wonderful girlfriend and everything seems to be great.

Once his good friend has him falsely accused of stealing, driven out of his home village and marries his former girlfriend, he becomes incredibly bitter and focuses only on saving money.

After he moves to Raveloe, he is regarded with suspicion by the villagers because he no longer attends church and does not socialize with anyone.  It is only after his money is stolen and he turns to the village for help that he becomes human again and starts to have relationships with other villagers and come out of his shell.

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