Silas Marner

Questions to be considered whilst reading.

Chapter 1

What do we learn about how Raveloe folk feel about strangers?

What do we learn about how Raveloe folk feel about "cleverness" or skill?

Is Raveloe a forward looking village or a place set in its ways?

What things about Silas might contribute to the villagers' mistrust of him?

Why do the people of Lantern Yard not try to find out the reason for Silas' fits?

How does William Dane get away with framing Silas for a crime he did not commit? Why do they not follow the normal course of law after the theft?

Chapter 2

Why does Silas' kind act in healing Sally Oates, and his subsequent behaviour, make the mistrust him more?

How does the Raveloe folk's rejection of Silas contribute towards turning him into a miser?

Chapter 4 & 5

How does the theft by Dunstan Cass of Silas' money effect him at first?

How does it later come to work to Silas' advantage?

Chapter 10

Find a quotation which suggests that the villagers have ceased to fear Silas and are no longer isolating him.

Find a quotation which shows that the Raveloe attitude to Christianity is ignorant and superstitious.

Chapter 14

What effect does Silas' decision to keep the child have on how the villagers feel about him? In what way does Dolly Winthrop's insistence that Eppie should be christened help Silas towards being accepted by the villagers?

In what ways does Dolly's faith, shown throughout the novel, help Silas?

Chapter 19

Why does Silas come to feel that the theft was a good thing?

The questions before the row of asterisks will help you think about how the attitudes of the two communities and the behaviour of William Dane and Dunstan Cass create tragedy for Silas. The questions which follow it suggest ways in which the Raveloe attitude and Dunstan Cass's behaviour actually help save him.