What are the themes in Silas Marner?

One of the most important themes in Silas Marner is the power of faith. Although Silas initially loses his faith due to his appalling treatment by the people of Lantern Yard, he eventually regains it through the love of little Eppie.

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In the right hands, faith can be a very powerful force for good. It can inspire people to help their fellow men and women, to reach out to them in their hour of need. It can also have a transformative impact on the soul, making us realize that we are a small part of a big world to which we owe certain responsibilities.

The power of faith is much in evidence in Silas Marner. Silas loses his faith after being falsely accused of theft by the religious community of Lantern Yard. Silas's ill-treatment turns him into a miserly recluse who shuts himself off from the rest of the world.

In due course, however, Silas will rediscover not just his faith in God, but his faith in humanity. All this is because of the deep love he develops for Eppie, the little orphan girl who comes into his life and transforms it completely.

In caring for Eppie, Silas is able to reestablish the connection with humanity that was lost when he left Lantern Yard under a cloud. Loving and caring for Eppie prepares Silas to love and care for others. Of necessity, this involves reentering society and becoming an active member of the local community. Silas duly does this and starts attending church and making friends in Raveloe.

The love of Eppie has worked wonders. It has not only restored Silas's humanity, but his faith in God and other people.

Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on

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