What is an analysis of this quote from Silas Marner? "Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand" 

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M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In part two, chapter XVIII of Silas Marner, Godfrey Cass finally opens up to Nancy Lammeter and confesses the secret that he has been keeping even from before he and Nancy married: that Eppie is his child, and that the woman found dead the night that Eppie was left abandoned was Godfrey's wife: a low-life woman who was also an opium fiend.

Nancy, who abides by a strict code of righteousness is doubly let down, not only because of the implications of what Godfrey has just told her, but also because of the act of hiding information from her. The lying is just as painful, perhaps more, than whatever action Godfrey has made in the past.

As Godfrey asks for forgiveness, he also tries to make his offense less profound by adding that, had he told her this information before, Nancy would have never agreed to marry him. This is when Nancy responds,

I should never have married anybody else. But I wasn't worth doing wrong for-- nothing is in this world. Nothing is so good as it seems beforehand--not even our marrying wasn't, you see." There was a faint sad smile on Nancy's face as she said the last words.

What Nancy is doing is re-asserting her position regarding doing "the right thing". She is indeed disappointed. However, what she is doing is lecturing Godfrey that, regardless if they were to be married or not, it is not worth lying, or covering up information, or even denying Eppie.

After all, a marriage, or any relationship that is pursued, is not as great, nor as good, as what one thinks they are going to be. We all look at things through "rose-colored lenses" when we are excited about the future. This means that we idealize things and always tend to think that everything will come out the way that we envision: sometimes even with pomp and circumstance. Yet, things are far from how our fantasy imagines it. In the end it all belongs to either normality or abnormality. It is very seldom that the things that we imagine ever come out exactly how we think.

Hence, Godfrey did all of the things that he did to secure his relationship with Nancy. Did he have to do all of that to secure her? Nancy says no. Not just because it is wrong, but also because nothing in the world is worth doing wrong for.

o good as it seems before hand