What kind of place is the Rainbow Inn in Silas Marner?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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We are told what kind of place the Rainbow Inn is at the end of Chapter Five, when Silas Marner decides to go there to inform others of the robbery that has resulted in the loss of his precious gold. Clearly, as the principal inn of Raveloe, it is the meeting place of a variety of people, as Marner reasons:

The Rainbow, in Marner's view, was a place of luxurious resort for rich and stout husbands, whose wives had superfluous stores of lines; it was the place where he was likely to find the powers and dignities of Raveloe, and where he could most speedily make his loss public.

Thus, The Rainbow Inn serves as a meeting place for the menfolk of Raveloe society. Normally, its clientèle consists of the higher end of society, as we are told that even Squire Cass frequented The Rainbow Inn, to enjoy "the double pleasure of conviviality and condescension." As such, therefore, it is a good place for Silas Marner to go to inform the appropriate powers of Raveloe about the robbery that has left him bereft.

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