Notes on Silas Marner Themes

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Silas Marner Topic Tracking: Religion

Religion 1: The social center of Raveloe is its church. There, the villagers congregate and live by the preachings of God. Religion influences Raveloe inhabitants' lives: they work according to their religion, they think according to their religion, and they act according to their religion.

Religion 2: In Lantern Yard, Silas is known for his devotion to his chapel and religion. The people believe that his fainting fits are messages sent from God. Silas trusts and reveres everyone and everything involved with his church that he fails to see the faults in people - especially William Dane.

Religion 3: That Silas is considered guilty by his beloved church, by his friend William Dane, and his fiancee Sarah, makes him lose faith in what he believes in and who he trusts. Silas feels persecuted by everyone in Lantern Yard and believes that there must be darkness and injustice in this world, if he, an innocent man, can be found guilty. He feels as if his God has deceived him.

Religion 4: Shunning the careless attitude of Raveloe villagers, Silas feels that his God hides from him. He eventually starts to feel resentment and bitterness toward religion and God.

Religion 5: Silas fails to recognize the connection between religion and Christmas when Dolly visits him and begs him to attend church. He had not been taught the religious meaning of the Christmas holidays as a man in Lantern Yard, so he does not know why church bells ring on Sundays nor why Christmas carols are sung. Before Dolly leaves, she begs Silas not to work on the loom on Sundays, as he always does.

Religion 6: Silas feels that the child he finds in his home must be a message sent from a distant memory of his dead sister. Looking at the child in his arms, he believes that God sent her to him at a time when he needed companionship and love the most.

Religion 7: Silas is doubtful about Eppie's christening, but he declares to Dolly that he will abide by the Raveloe church to do whatever is needed for Eppie's welfare. Silas's wish to set things right for Eppie shows that he is slowly learning to accept a new set of religious beliefs for the good of another human being.

Religion 8: Silas is seen leaving the town church after Sunday services. Sixteen years have passed since he had Eppie christened, but Silas still is devoted to the Raveloe church. He has accepted the Raveloe religion for Eppie and for himself.

Religion 9: Silas and Dolly talk about the robbery in Lantern Yard. They both agree that there is darkness and evil in this world, but they also recommence that there must be morality and humanity as well, for Eppie would not have been sent to him if there weren't.

Religion 10: Silas angrily tells Godfrey that God recognizes Eppie as his daughter because Godfrey abandoned her years ago and Silas took her in as his own. That Godfrey turned Eppie away at a time when she needed him shows how unfeeling and unkind he was to her and how Silas brought a blessing to himself by taking her in.

Religion 11: Silas sadly tells Dolly that maybe his name in Lantern Yard may never be cleared, now that the chapel or the minister are no longer there. He fears that his past will always remain dark, but Dolly tells him that for every injustice is integrity and righteousness.

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