Notes on Silas Marner Themes

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Silas Marner Topic Tracking: Light

Light 1: Silas's former home, Lantern Yard, is seemingly a warm, kind town, a town where Silas is well liked and respected. His devotion to religion and friendship with William Dane are what Silas enjoys most in Lantern Yard.

Light 2: The gold Silas hoards gives him satisfaction and joy, but the gold is a false cover for genuine happiness. He takes pleasure in counting his money, the only companion he has. The gold is a false friend.

Light 3: Attracted by a bright light, the little girl follows it straight to Silas's cottage and through his open door. The light enchants her and she is immediately comfortable in front of the fireplace. Light and warmth are associated with the girl.

Light 4: Silas thinks that his gold is returned to him, but to his amazement, he finds that the gold is not his money but the golden hair of a sleeping child. He actually marvels at the sight of the little blond girl, for he thinks that she looks like his sister, and loves the sight of her. His tenderness for the girl is genuine.

Light 5: Silas's love for Eppie is reciprocated. For the first time in his life, Silas feels love, warmth, and happiness. His emotions are far deeper than his emotions for his gold. Unlike the gold, Eppie can return his love and affection.

Light 6: At age eighteen, Eppie is a beautiful, radiant young woman whose affections for the people she knows and trusts illuminate in those around her. Not only do her feelings reveal her warm and giving nature, her blond good looks also emphasize her goodness.

Light 7: Eppie's love enables Silas to appreciate their life together in Raveloe, remember his old religion, and unite them in a coherent vision that provides him with an optimistic outlook. The good feelings in Eppie transfer to Silas, who benefits from Eppie's warm and giving nature. Silas, too, has become a friendly, generous person.

Light 8: Silas declares to Eppie that he would not exchange her for his money. Eppie has turned his life around for the better, and he is grateful to God for giving Eppie to him. Her love has warmed his spirit and his soul.

Light 9: The Lantern Yard Silas and Eppie visit is not the Lantern Yard he once knew. A grim-looking, depressing, dirty place lives up to the false meaning of its name. A town that would falsely accuse an innocent man of stealing has to be corrupt and base, and Silas is horrified and disgusted at the change in Lantern Yard.

Light 10: Silas declares that Eppie's avowal to stay with him has given him reason to trust and love the world despite its evils. Her pure and just outlook on religion has secured his trust on her and the world. Eppie's love restores trust to Silas.

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