Notes on Silas Marner Themes

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Silas Marner Topic Tracking: Raveloe Customs

Raveloe Customs 1: Silas Marner, a linen-weaver, comes from a town into the country. His lifestyle is unusual to the villagers of Raveloe. Weavers, for one thing, are uncommon in England. The villagers believe him to be connected with the devil, for his knowledge of herbs is unmatched by anyone in Raveloe.

Raveloe Customs 2: The townspeople also think that Silas's unusual lifestyle spent in solitude and isolation is odd. He never wants to socialize with anybody in Raveloe, nor does he seem to care that he has a reputation of being a repulsive recluse.

Raveloe Customs 3: Because Silas has an extensive knowledge of herbs - he saves Sally Oates's life by administering a medicine made by a special herb - the villagers assume that he knows charms and curses as well. His refusals to cure people of illnesses and curses make the people believe that he is connected to the Dark side, for if he were a Dark supporter, he would not want to share his knowledge of the Dark arts with them.

Raveloe Customs 4: The social classes of Raveloe have their own set of activities: the working-class men gather at the Rainbow while upper-class members enjoy themselves at lavish parties given by the wealthiest families in Raveloe. Both classes, however, talk about the same subject - Raveloe news and memories.

Raveloe Customs 5: Dolly only knows religion the way Raveloe preaches. Her knowledge of the church, its teachings, and its customs is limited, but she is devoted and pious through and through. Silas sees that Dolly, as with other Raveloe villagers, is representative of the Raveloe church and appreciates her kindness, but does not agree with her view of religion.

Raveloe Customs 6: The upper-class society of Raveloe always congregates at Squire Cass's Red House for the New Year's Eve party. Godfrey expects Nancy Lammeter to be there, as her family is one of the most prominent and wealthiest in town. Raveloe high society expects its members to act and think a certain way - the way the members have been brought up and raised.

Raveloe Customs 7: Dolly advises Silas to have Eppie christened, as babies always are in Raveloe. Silas questions the christening, but he goes along with the idea because Dolly assures him that christening Eppie would do her good. Silas's agreement to christen Eppie shows that he is beginning to accept Raveloe customs.

Raveloe Customs 8: Eighteen-year-old Eppie and Silas are seen leaving the town church after the Sunday service. Silas has been devotedly attending church services since Eppie's christening. That he takes Eppie to church as well shows that he accepts Raveloe customs for both his and Eppie's good.

Raveloe Customs 9: Silas smokes a pipe daily; the sages of Raveloe have recommended that smoking would benefit his health. Silas's daily habit of smoking shows that he listens to and adheres to the local Raveloe customs.

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