Questions From Text Book Solved
Question 1: How did the people of Raveloe regard Silas?
Answer: The people of Raveloe distrusted and disliked Silas Marner because he was different from them and was not even a native of their town. He was a weaver who came to Raveloe from another place. His bulging brownish eyes accompanied with a squint gave him a frightful air about him. He was a loner and did not socialise with the people around him. He was good with herbal medicines and was able to cure Sally Oates from her medical condition. People attributed him with having supernatural powers and capacities which he himself was unaware of. They created myths about him and maintained their distance from him.
Question 2: Describe the life-changing incident in Lantern Yard that Silas experienced.
Answer: Silas was an honest man and a faithful member of a religious sect in Lantern Yard. It was during a prayer meeting that he had his first cataleptic fit. While others considered that he was bestowed with special grace, William, his closest friend, thought Satan visited him. Silas was pained when he heard this but did not speak.
When the deacon fell ill, the entire congregation took turns to look after him. Silas went for his turn and, after sometime, found him dead. He looked out for help but could find none. So, he went to work after his turn was over. He was brought back to the vestry shortly afterwards and was accused of a crime he had not committed since his knife was found in the deacon’s room. He recalled that he had used his knife to cut the straps for William and had left it there. He was disillusioned by the way he was treated and decided that there was no just God. Sarah, the woman he was engaged to, broke off with him and married William a month later. These events changed his life and he became a loner who did not socialise with the people around him.
Question 3: Did Silas know that William Dane framed him? Give reasons for your answer.
Answer: Yes, Silas knew that William, his closest friend had framed him. This is very clear in the story.
Silas was accused of a crime because his knife was found at the crime scene. He did not remember committing the murder or stealing the bag of money. The minister, other congregation members and William insisted that he should accept his sin and atone for it. However, he did remember using the knife to cut a strap for William. Upon facing the latter, he said “I don’t remember putting it in my pocket again. You stole the money, and you have woven a plot to lay the sin at my door.” This shows clearly that William had framed him for the crime.
Question 4: Why do you think William betrayed Silas? Give examples from the text to support your answer.
Answer: In my opinion, William betrayed Silas because he wanted to marry Sarah. This is evident from the thought that Silas has after his first fit. He observes that “Sarah’s manner towards him began to exhibit a strange fluctuation between an effort at an increased manifestation of regard and involuntary signs of shrinking and dislike.”
The fact that she broke off the engagement with him and married William a month later also points to the fact that the latter betrayed Silas in order to remove him from his way.
After Silas’ first fit, William suspects that Satan rather than a special grace visited his friend. This goes to show that he was envious of Silas and wanted to create problems for him.
Question 5: Write a character sketch of Silas on the basis of the information you get in the Chapter 1.
Answer: Silas Marner, a weaver, is the main character and protagonist of the novel by the same name. He leaves his town and church after being falsely accused of a crime he did not commit and migrates to another town, Raveloe. His physical appearance is odd: he is bent from his work at the loom, brownish bulging eyes. He looks much older than his years. He lives in this town as a loner and does not interact with anyone. Children are afraid of him and the people regard him with a mixture of suspicion and curiosity.
However, he is a good and honest person. He has a discreet knowledge of medicinal herbs and is able to use it to cure people.
Question 6: What kind of a person is William Dane in your opinion?
Answer: William Dane seems to be a scheming person who can go to any lengths to get what he wants. Silas considers him a good friend. They actually become friends because they share the same religious sect at Lantern Yard in a town in Northern England.
While Silas is profoundly religious, William Dane’s religious feelings are not so deep. He seems to be with the brethren only so far as he is directly benefited. He wants to get rich quickly and ‘steal’ Silas’ fiance. With the deacon falling ill, he sees his opportunity and works out a plan to do both. He steals the money from the deacon, frames Silas for the robbery by leaving his knife at the crime scene and manages to marry Sarah, the girl Silas was engaged to.
Question 7: How did Silas spend his time in Raveloe?
Answer: Silas spent his time weaving all the years that he had been in Raveloe. It was his vocation and his occupation – something that kept his mind occupied and prevented him from brooding about his closest friend’s betrayal.
The monotone of the loom and the time spent on it filled him with a feeling of a well- spent day to produce beautiful products. He would “throw” the shuttle across the loom and keep a keen eye on “the little squares in the cloth” that completed themselves under his expert supervision. A weaver’s profession is a one-man show and Silas was a very lonely man.
Question 8: What did Silas do for Sally Oates? Why do you think he did it?
Answer: Silas found Sally Oates, the wife of the village cobbler, in a fit of dropsy. Since his mother had suffered in the same manner, Silas recognised the symptoms immediately. He also remembered that his mother had found relief from a simple preparation of foxglove. Moved out of pity, Silas gave the same preparation to Sally Oates. The preparation gave relief to her in a way that doctor’s medicine couldn’t.
Silas helped Sally Oates because he remembered how his mother had suffered and died. That remembrance and Sally’s condition filled his heart with pity and compassion and he decided to help her.
Question 9: What did Silas come to love apart from his work? Give examples from the text to support your answer.
Answer: Silas came to love the glitter of his gold coins. We knew this from the various examples given in the text. For instance, at one point the author says “for the first time in his life, he had five bright guineas put into his hand; no man expected a share of them, and he loved no man that he should offer him a share.” Once again we are introduced to Mamer who “wanted the heaps of ten to grow into a square, and then into a larger square; and every added guinea, while it was itself a satisfaction, bred a new desire.” Every night, after work, he sat down to “enjoy their companionship”.
Question 10: Compare Silas’ life in Lantern Yard with that in Raveloe.
Answer: Silas was a happy person when he lived in Lantern Yard. He would fall into fits, or trances, during the prayer-meetings. Apart from that, things were going well with him. He had wonderful friends and he was preparing to marry his fiancé. His honesty, hard work and good nature endears him to everyone. However, there was a certain religious austerity in his life at Lantern Yard.
He came to Raveloe as a cold and bitter man. His main objective was on saving and hoarding his money. He did not socialise even though he did help the-cobbler’s wife by curing her illness. He notices the religious ease with which the people of Raveloe live – in complete contrast to Lantern Yard. His helping Sally Oates creates opportunities to interact and meet more people, but he refuses to get back into his shell.
Question 11: Describe the incident of the brown pot. What can you infer about Silas’ nature from this incident?
Answer: Silas had a brown earthen pot and he considered it “his most precious utensil among the very few conveniences he had granted himself. It had been his companion for twelve years, always standing on the same spot…” Every morning Silas would take the pot to the well and fill it with fresh water.
One day, as he was returning from the well, he stumbled and the pot slipped to the ground. It broke in three pieces. Silas was overcome with grief as he carried the pieces home. His affection for the pot did not allow him to throw it away. He put the pieces together and placed the pot in its place as a remembrance.
It can be inferred from this incident that, though a bitter man, Silas still had some spark of affection left in his heart and was capable of loving. The grief that he felt at the breaking of the pot indicates his sadness at being left all alone one more time.
Question 12: What was the effect of Mrs. Cass’ death on the Cass household?
Answer: The death of Mrs. Cass had deprived the Cass household of the “presence of the wife and mother which is the fountain of wholesome love and fear” in a household. The family was left rudderless as a result and Squire Cass had not been able to provide any direction to his children.
Also, this accounted not. only for “there being more profusion than finished excellence in the holiday provisions, but also for the frequency with which the proud Squire condescended to preside in the parlour of the Rainbow.”
Perhaps due to this, the sons had “turned out rather ill.”
Question 13: What is your view of the conflict between Godfrey and Dunsey Cass?
Answer: Godfrey and Dunsey were brothers, but they truly hated each other. They were very different from each other – while Godfrey was good-natured, Dunsey was “a spiteful jeering fellow.” The former, being the first-born, was destined to inherit his father’s land. I think this was the basis of the conflict between the two.
Dunsey happened to know Godfrey’s secret and used this knowledge for his advantage and blackmailed his brother into doing him favours. The latter didn’t appreciate this, but felt in no position to oppose his younger brother. He knew that, should his secret be revealed, he could lose both his inheritance and the woman he was in love with.
Question 14: How do you know that Godfrey was married? What happened to his wife?
Answer: We know about Godfrey’s marriage from Dunsey. The former talks to his brother about returning the loan that he had taken to help him. However, Dunsey asks him to find the money to pay off the loan since he was the one to take it in the first place. When the former protests, he threatens him that he could “get you turned out of house and home, and cut off with a shilling any day” by telling the Squire how “his handsome son was married to that nice young woman, Molly Farren.” He also reveals that Godfrey “was very unhappy because he couldn’t live with his drunken wife.”
Question 15: Do you agree with the statement “Dunstan was an evil person”? Cite examples from the text to support your answer.
Answer: In my opinion, Dunstan, or Dunsey, is definitely an evil person. He is introduced as “a spiteful jeering fellow, who seemed to enjoy his drink the more when other people went dry.” He seems to take immense pleasure in Godfrey’s situation. When the latter reminds him that he borrowed money to help him, he merely says, “Since you were so kind as to hand it over to me, you’ll not refuse me the kindness to pay it back for me.” He knows about Godfrey’s dark secret and does not hesitate in using it as a means to gain his own end. He further suggests “If Molly should happen to take a drop too much laudanum some day, and make a widower of you,” then he (Godfrey) would be free to marry Nancy.
Question 16: Explain the following sentence in your own words – “The yoke a man creates for himself by wrong-doing will breed hate in the kindliest nature.”
Answer: The sentence talks about how someone can enslave himself by his own wrongdoing. His guilt or regret, or both, becomes a heavy burden to carry – much like a yoke that is placed on the shoulders of draft animals, for instance, two oxen, to pull a cartload of people or things. The wrongdoing becomes a burden because one has to hide it, lie about it and be untrue to oneself. It is but natural that such a burden makes a person angry, spiteful and unkind. Guilt, or regret, makes a person negative, towards himself and others and a kind nature becomes despicable.
Question 17: Write about the character of Godfrey Cass on the basis of this chapter.
Answer: Godfrey, the eldest son of Squire Cass and the heir to the Cass estate, is “fine open¬faced good-natured young man.” He is, however, revealed to be weak-willed. As a young man, he married Molly Farren who later took to drinks and drugs. The marriage was a secret. The only person who knew about it was his younger brother, Dunstan, or Dunsey. When he is being blackmailed by the latter, he thinks of revealing his secret to his father so that he can end his younger brother’s bullying tactics. But, after evaluating the consequences – of being disinherited and thrown out of the family – he decides against it. This shows that he cannot think much beyond his immediate comfort as “disinherited son of a small squire, equally disinclined to dig and to beg, was almost as helpless as an uprooted tree.” He finds that “he must irrevocably lose her[Nancy] as well as the inheritance” hence succumbs to his brother’s intimidation.
Question 18: What kind of a person is Squire Cass in your opinion?
Answer: Squire Cass doesn’t seem to be a nice person according to me. He is “the greatest man in Raveloe” because of the land he possessed and the tenants he had. Long after the death of his wife the “proud Squire condescended to preside in the parlour of the Rainbow rather than under the shadow of his own dark wainscot.” This shows the arrogance in his nature. He is considered weak by the people of Raveloe because “he had kept all his sons at home in idleness.” This also points out to the fact that he neglected his sons and fell short in their upbringing. There is also an indication that the Squire did not have much money since his son borrows some from his friend. This shows that he is not good at managing money as well.
Question 19: Can you predict in what way the stories of Silas Mamer and Godfrey Cass will merge?
Answer: According to me, it will be known that Dunstan Cass .robbed Silas. Godfrey, being a kind-hearted person, will take the responsibility of caring for the weaver since it was his own brother who robbed him. There might develop an unusual friendship between the two.
Question 20: Do you think the weather was instrumental in Dunstan heading towards Silas’ house?
Answer: Yes, the weather was definitely important in making Dunstan head towards Silas’ house. It was very cold and was getting increasingly dark. With the mist settling him, it was becoming difficult to see. “The lane was becoming unpleasantly slippery, for the mist was passing into rain.” As a result, he felt the ground before him with his whip- handle lest he should slip and fall.
Dunstan thought he could borrow a lantern from Silas to head back home after persuading him to part with some of his gold. The brightly lit fire was a welcome contrast to the weather outside and he entered the cottage without further thought.
Question 21: What justification does he give for stealing the gold?
Answer: Dunstan was returning from the hunt empty handed. Godfrey’s horse, Wildfire, died after being impaled during a jump. As he passed Silas’ cottage he decides to talk to, even intimidate the latter, into giving him some money. He approaches the cottage, he finds the fire lit but Silas nowhere to be seen. Dunstan looks around for possible hiding place for gold when this thought comes to him – “the weaver had perhaps gone outside his cottage to fetch in fuel, or for some such brief purpose, and had slipped into the Stone-pit. That was an interesting idea to Dunstan, carrying consequences of entire novelty. If the weaver was dead, who had a right to his money? Who would know where his money was hidden? Who would know that anybody had come to take it away?” And, ’ with this thought, he sets out to search for the gold and make off with it himself.
Question 22: Write a brief character sketch of Dunstan Cass.
Answer: Dunstan Cass is Squire Cass’ son and Godfrey’s younger brother. He is described as a “a spiteful jeering fellow” at the very outset in the chapter 3. We know that he is not handsome as his brother. He is a selfish and dishonest person who is given to drinking. He knows his brother’s weak points and takes advantage of them to the full. Towards the end of the chapter 4, he comes out to be a little over-confident about his abilities and his luck. After striking a good bargain for Wildfire, he foolishly participates in the hunt to earn some extra money. However, the horse dies and he is left with nothing. On his way home, he stops at Silas’ cottage. Having a “mind of a possible felon” he quickly finds the bags of gold that Silas had hidden and makes off with them.
Question 24: Why didn’t Silas lock his cottage before going on his errand?
Answer: There were two reasons for Silas not locking his cottage. The first one was that it did not occur to him that he would become a victim of robbery. After all, nothing had happened in the last fifteen years! And, in any case, “What thief would find his way to the stone- pits on such a night as this?”
The second reason was that he had used the door key and a piece of string to tie the meat to its hanger. “He could not have locked his door without undoing his well- knotted string and retarding his supper.”
Question 25: Describe his actions when he entered the cottage after running his errand up to the time he discovered the theft.
Answer: Silas returned home to a welcoming and warm fire. He was happy and satisfied at the way the day had gone and was looking forward to the roast-meat that he would have for supper. It was all the more delicious since he didn’t have to pay for it – Miss Priscilla Lammeter had given it to him for the excellent linen he wove for her.
He warmed himself before the fire, adjusted the hanger of the meat a little lower and waited for the supper to be ready. But, since that was taking long, he decided to look over his gold as he waited. So, he got up to go and get it from its hiding place.
Question 26: Why did Silas think Jem Rodney to be the thief?
Answer: Silas thought of Jem Rodney as the thief because the latter was known for poaching – he would trespass a private property whenever he wanted. Apart from that, he had a bad reputation. He had also met Silas many times “in his journeys across the fields, and had said something jestingly about the weaver’s money.” At one time, he had succeeded in irritating Silas “by lingering at the fire when he called to light his pipe, instead of going about his business.” All these things made Silas believe that his thief was Jem Rodney.
Question 27: Once convinced about the robbery, what did Silas do? Why?
Answer: Silas just wanted his gold back. He didn’t want Jem Rodney, or anyone else, to be punished. He set out for the Rainbow to report the robbery. Somewhere in his heart he was convinced that by appealing to the powerful people of Raveloe he would succeed in finding his gold.
Question 28: How did Silas feel before and after the discovery of the robbery in his house? Describe in your own words.
Answer: Silas was in good humour that day. He had delivered a fine piece of linen to Miss Priscilla Lammeter earlier in the day and was rewarded with a piece of good meat. He returned home, lit his fire and hung the meat on the hanger for cooking it. He recalled after some time that “a piece of very fine twine was indispensable to his ‘setting up’ a new piece of work in his loom early in the morning.” Since he didn’t wish to waste his time in the morning, he thought of running the errand right away. He returned home as a satisfied man, eagerly looking forward to his delicious supper. As he waited for it to be ready, he decided to look upon his gold. So, he went to get the bags out of their hiding place. But they were not there.
The happy and satisfied man changed at this point. Panic-stricken and horrified, he began to look for his bags of gold all over the place. He could not believe that they were not there anymore. “He shook so violently that he let fall the candle, and lifted his hands to his head, trying to steady himself.” He uttered a “wild ringing scream” giving vent to his frustration and disbelief and turned to work at his loom as if to derive some solace.
The happy man was devastated in such a cruel manner one more time in his life.
Question 29: How do you see the public gathering at the Rainbow? Describe the scene.
Answer: The people have gathered at the Rainbow on a cold, misty night. They are warming ; themselves in the warmth of the fire and drinks. They are talking about what has happened in the town in the recent times, as also what happened a long while ago. They are talking, joking, poking fun at each other. One gets the impression that people know each other’s temperament and the respective social positions and, to a certain extent, understand each other, too. This public gathering is a community in itself that gives a sense of identity to the people in it.
Question 30: Describe some of the major participants in the conversation at the Rainbow and their role in it.
Answer: Mr. Snell is the landlord and the one to start conversations. He mentions the butcher chopping up a cow the other day. This leads to the butcher describing the cow; Mr. Dowlas, the farrier takes the cue and asks some relevant questions about the animal, then triumphantly tells that it belonged to Mr. Lammeter. Mr. Tookey, the deputy-clerk at the parish, is chided by Mr. Winthrop for his awful singing. Mr. Snell asks Mr. Macey to tell how and when Mr. Lammeter came to Raveloe and what happened after. Mr. Macey embarks on a long story and is suitably interrupted with customary questions. At the end of the chapter, all are participating in an animated discussion about ghosts.
Question 31: Mr. Macey was asked to tell the story of Mr. Lammeter. Write it in your own words.
Answer: Mr. Snell, the landlord, asks Mr. Macey to talk about when did Mr. Lammeter come to Raveloe and what happened. The latter begins his tale thus – the elder Mr. Lammeter “came from a bit north’ard” and brought with him “a fine breed o’ sheep.” He had sold his land back home and rented land at Warrens. The land belonged to a “a Lunnon tailor” whose son died young and the tailor became mad, leaving his property to charity. Mr. Lammeter’s son “soon begun to court Miss Osgood, that’s the sister o’ the Mr. Osgood as now is…” Mr. Macey, as a parish clerk, helped to marry them. He was the only one to notice that the rector reversed the wedding vows – “Wilt thou have this man to thy wedded wife?” and, “Wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded husband?” He was worried about the invalidation of the ceremony, but later thought that “it isn’t the meanin’, it’s the glue.” Even the rector told him that “it’s neither the meaning nor the words – it’s the regester does it—that’s the glue.”
Question 32: Do you think the gathering at the Rainbow is like your neighbourhood community? How can you say?
Answer: Yes, I think every neighbourhood community has something in common with this gathering at the Rainbow. The people know each other and the respective social positions. They are respectful or disrespectful according to the status in the society. They get together, eat, drink and be merry. Just like the discussions at the Rainbow, people talk about others, their lives and things. They joke and poke fun at some while some get offended, some laugh it off. To sum it up, the gathering at the Rainbow is a typical example of public gatherings in the modern times.
Question 33: Write the character sketch of Mr. Macey.
Answer: Mr. Macey is a tailor by profession. But, he also works in the capacity of the parish clerk of Raveloe. He is introduced as an ageing person, with a white head, who is suffering from rheumatism. He has “an air of complacency, slightly seasoned with criticism”. He is biased and smug and does not miss a chance to be “satisfied with this attack on youthful presumption.” However, he is also a well-meaning person.
He can be termed the historical memory of the town since he remembers everything. He can recall the smallest details of the life of the Lammeters ever since they shifted to Raveloe from “from a bit north’ard”; the story behind the Charity Land at Warrens and many more incidents.
Question 34: What kind of a person is Mr. Dowlas, the farrier? Describe.
Answer: I think Mr. Dowlas is a person who is too full of himself. He cannot accept anyone’s words or ideas if they are contrary to his. He is the blacksmith of the town. He shoes the horses and generally tends to livestock diseases. When the butcher talks about the cow he killed, Mr. Dowlas feels his duty to give all the information about the animal and how he knew it. He does not believe in ghosts and is willing to “wager any man ten pound, if he’ll stand out wi’ me any dry night in the pasture before the Warren stables, as we shall neither see lights nor hear noises, if it isn’t the blowing of our own noses.”
Question 35: What do you think the author means by the following phrase – “The slight suspicion with which his hearers at first listened to him, gradually melted away before the convincing simplicity of his distress”.
Answer: I think the author wanted to highlight how the people used to suspect Silas in the past. This suspicion was mainly due to the fact that he never socialised with others; that he cured Sally Oates but refused to do so for others; that he used to shout angrily at the children. Keeping this in view, when he appeared before the others, the people felt an instinctive suspicion towards him. However, the earnestness and the simplicity with which he told about his misfortune soon dispelled that suspicion. People began to sympathise with him and thought of helping him.
Question 36: Why do you think Silas apologise to Jem for accusing him of the theft?
Answer: According to me, Mr. Macey’s words “Let’s have no accusing o’ the innicent” were of great importance here. “Memory was not so utterly torpid in Silas that it could not be awakened by these words.” He must have remembered the time when he was falsely accused while in Lantern Yard. Having already experienced the trauma of an accusation, he probably realised his own folly. After all, he had no proof or witness that Jem had been to his house in his absence. Neither did he have any evidence of the latter having the gold bags in his possession. He admitted that he thought of Jem as the possible thief because only he had “been into my house oftener than anybody else.”
Question 37: Why did the farrier propose the appointment of a deputy-constable? What did he really want?
Answer: The farrier proposed to appoint a deputy-constable because Mr. Kench, the constable, was indisposed and in bed. In his absence a deputy had to be appointed “for that’s the law.” He really wanted to be the deputy-constable in order to satisfy his own sense of importance. He says as much – “and then, if it’s me as is deppity, I’ll go back with you, Master Marner, and examine your premises.” He goes on to challenge others by saying, “and if anybody’s got any fault to find with that, I’ll thank him to stand up and say it out like a man.”
Question 38: Why did Mr. Macey object to the farrier becoming the deputy-constable? What effect did his objection have on the farrier?
Answer: Mr. Macey claimed that he knew the law, hence no doctor could become a constable. The farrier starts a “hot debate” upon this. He didn’t wish to “renounce the quality of doctor”, so he contended that “a doctor could be a constable if he liked.” However, Mr. Macey disagreed with the farriers views “since the law was not likely to be fonder of doctors than of other folks.” He further wished to know that “if it was in the nature of doctors more than of other men not to like being constables, how came Mr. Dowlas to be so eager to act in that capacity?” The farrier got on the defensive and expressed his desire to withdraw his name “if there’s to be any jealousy and envying about going to Kench’s in the rain, let them go as like it — you won’t get me to go, I can tell you.”
Question 39: Do you think the new experience of communicating with people had any effect on Silas? Explain.
Answer: Yes, this new experience must have had a deep effect on Silas. In his desperation to recover his stolen gold, he opened up to the people of Raveloe for the first time. It was a “novel situation… sitting in the warmth of a hearth not his own.” Even the sympathetic listeners must have warmed his heart. This must have influenced Silas without him being aware of it. This desperate communication and his cry for help opened a new door for Silas in his life to come. It also gave an opportunity for the people to know him better. The author explains this effect very beautifully – “Our consciousness rarely registers the beginning of a growth within us any more than without us.”
Question 40: What does the author mean by the following sentence – “A small minority shook their heads, and intimated their opinion… that Master Mainer’s tale had a queer look with it, and that such things had been known as a man’s doing himself a mischief, and then setting the justice to look for the doer”? What does it tell you about the mentality of these people?
Answer: The author wants to say that some people did not believe that this misfortune had happened with Silas. They didn’t find his story convincing. They were of the opinion that Silas had deliberately kept away the money and now was crying foul play. He had knowingly put the wheels of justice in motion.
These people did not stop to think about a possible motive for doing this. Neither could they give any convincing arguments to sustain their opinion. They merely said “everybody had a right to their own opinions, grounds or no grounds.” This shows that they were people of a very narrow thinking and did not hesitate in doubting the veracity of another person.
Question 41: How did the suspicion fall upon the pedlar? What were people saying about him?
Answer: Mr. Snell happened to discover a tinderbox in a ditch. This object belonged to a pedlar who had come to the town in the recent past. He had gone from house to house to sell his goods. In this way, he had an ample opportunity to assess the different households he went to.
People had different ideas about the pedlar. Mr. Snell, who had discovered the tinderbox in the first place, said “He had a ‘look with his eye.’” Godfrey Cass said he thought the pedlar was “a merry grinning fellow enough; it was all nonsense… about the man’s evil looks.” When Mr. Crackenthorp inquired if he wore earrings, Mr. Snell denied remembering this. However, other people came up with their recollections – the glazier’s wife declared that she had seen him wear “big earrings, in the shape of the young moon”; the cobbler’s daughter, Jinny Oates, said that his earrings “made her blood creep.”
Question 42: Was Godfrey successful in confessing everything to his father? Why do you think he did this?
Answer: As he went to sleep that night, Godfrey had resolved to come clean with his father and tell him everything. However, when he woke up the next morning, his resolve had weakened. His thoughts of the previous evening vanished and “he could now feel the presence of nothing but its evil consequences.” Once again he succumbed to the fear of being found out and with that came the “thought of raising a hopeless barrier between himself and Nancy.” Hence, he decided not to say anything and “keep things as nearly as possible in their old condition.”
Question 43: On the basis of the information given in the chapter, describe the character of the pedlar.
Answer: The pedlar is seen as a “merry grinning fellow” by some and as an unpleasant person by someone else. It is not what he says, but the way in which he says it seems to be the contention.
He has “a swarthy foreignness of complexion which boded little honesty.” He goes from house to house selling his goods. When Mr. Crackenthorp inquires if he was wearing earrings everyone in the village “immediately had an image of him with earrings, larger or smaller, as the case might be.” The glazier’s wife swears that he wore “big earrings, in the shape of the young moon” and Jinny Oates “stated not only that she had seen them too, but that they had made her blood creep.”
Apart from the above description, there is no information about the pedlar.
Question 44: Describe what went in Godfrey’s mind when Dunstan didn’t turn up by the evening.
Answer: He is very perturbed at his brother’s absence and is afraid about the money. How can he tell his father that he had given the money to Dunstan in exchange for his silence? At first, he thinks that he will tell his father that he spent the money and keep Dunstan out of it.
He repeated “that if he let slip this one opportunity of confession, he might never have another” to himself over and over again. He also reminded himself that “the revelation might be made even in a more odious way than by Dunstan’s malignity.” So, talking to his father was the best solution. And hence, as he went to sleep that night, Godfrey resolved to come clean with his father and tell him everything. He considered that the best way out of the situation. He imagined his father would get angry and irritated and might decide something against him. But, in time, he would come around and would hush all up for the sake of his pride.
Question 45: What do you understand about the society of the time from the following statement – “Fleet, the deer-hound, had consumed enough bits of beef to make a poor man’s holiday dinner”?
Answer: The Squire had a dog named Fleet. While the man waited for his ale, he fed beef to the dog. By the time the ale arrived, Fleet had already finished a meal.
I think the author wishes to describe the social divide between the rich and the poor of the time. While the rich had more than their needs and afford to feed their pets with delicacies, the same delicacies were festive meal for the poor. It seems that every day the dog eats what a poor man may eat on a special occasion. The rich were really rich, and the poor, really poor.
Question 46: Why was the Squire “purple with anger”? What did he say?
Answer: The Squire is furious because he feels his money has been squandered by his sons. He is angry at the knowledge that Godfrey has conspired with Dunstan to “embezzle” his money. He never had any doubts about Dunstan. But, he asks Godfrey, “Are you turning out a scamp?” He threatens to throw his sons out of the house, without any part in the property. He demands to know why Godfrey let Dunsey have ‘his’ money. He suspects that Godfrey has been “up to some trick, and you’ve been bribing him not to tell”. He expresses his wish to see Dunstan immediately in order to find out for what did he need the money, but he is told that the latter has not been seen around since the night before. He declares that he will no longer fund their “going-on” and “fooleries” and that he will “pull up”.
Question 47: Do you think Godfrey is thankful that the conversation shifted to Miss Nancy Lammeter?
Answer: In a way, yes. Godfrey doesn’t lie. Therefore, “not being sufficiently aware that no sort of duplicity can long flourish without the help of vocal falsehoods,” he finds it difficult to lie. He is very uncomfortable when the Squire comes dangerously close to the truth -“You’ve been up to some trick”. Presently, the Squire changes the topic and begins enquiring about Godfrey’s thoughts about Nancy, taking the focus away from the matter on hand. However, this diversion is also not welcome since the Squire offers to talk to Mr. Lammeter about a possible alliance.
Question 48: What reason does Godfrey give for not having proposed to Nancy yet?
Answer: Godfrey says he can’t talk to Nancy yet because he has no place to offer her as home. He tells his father, ‘You wouldn’t like to settle me on one of the farms, I suppose.” Further, that she has been used to living a different sort of life and it would be very difficult for her to adjust in the Red House with all the brothers around.
Question 49: Describe the character of Squire Cass.
Answer: Squire Cass is “a tall, stout man of sixty, with a face in which the knit brow and rather hard glance.” There are signs of habitual neglect about him and he is untidily dressed. However, he has “self-possession and authoritativeness of voice and carriage” that distinguishes him from ordinary people. He speaks in a “ponderous coughing fashion” and lives an idle life, much like his sons. He has a very sharp tongue and he doesn’t mince his words. He is also bad-tempered and given to anger every now and then. He banishes Dunstan by saying “Let him turn ostler, and keep himself. He shan’t hang on me any more.”
He is also seen as a bully when he pushes Godfrey in talking to Nancy Lammeter about the marriage. All in all, Squire Cass does not stand out as a sympathetic and compassionate person.
Question 50: Write about the author’s idea of chance in your own words.
Answer: Favourable chance is of utmost importance to those who do not depend on their own abilities. Man, when in a difficult situation, relies upon it to find the best way out of that : situation.
All he has to do is live beyond his means, or decline honest work, and he will begin hoping for a benefactor to end his woes. After neglecting his responsibilities he will hope that what he neglected to do was not important. Were he to betray a friend, he will hope that the betrayal never comes to light. Should he refuse a decent craft that would give him credibility, Chance would become his God and its worship his religion. Such a religion is against the adage “As you sow, so shall you reap”.
Question 51: What change can you see in the townspeople towards Silas? How can you say?
Answer: Change is an important theme in Silas Marner. The reader is introduced to a changing Silas in the very first chapter itself. When he comes to Raveloe fifteen years back, people form an opinion about him. Since he lives a life of a recluse and doesn’t meet anybody, people do not get to know him. Hence, they come to distrust and look at him with suspicion.
But, the robbery in his house changes people’s attitude towards him. They are no longer distrustful even though they begin to consider him crazy! However, they, especially the housewives, worry about his well-being.
Mr. Crackenthorp takes a present for him when he goes to visit him at his cottage. Dolly Winthrop comes to meet with her son in tow. She offers to help him with the household work; she also urges him to begin going to church on Sundays. Mr. Macey also pays him a visit with much the same intentions.
On the whole, Silas is no longer a person to be scared of or to be distrusted.
Question 52: What is the meaning of the following sentence – “but language is a stream that is almost sure to smack of a mingled soil”? How is it relevant to chapter-10?
Answer: What the author means by this sentence is that while we can keep material gifts untouched by our prejudices and bias, we cannot do the same with the words we speak. No matter how good our intentions are, no matter how well-meaning we are, our thoughts always sneak into what we say to others.
This is relevant to this chapter. In that people come to sympathise with Silas. They believe they are saying comforting things but it does not come out like that. For example, one evening Mr. Macey comes to Silas and says “Come, Master Marner, why, you’ve no call to sit a-moaning. You’re a deal better off to ha’ lost your money.” His real intention is to get Silas out of his miserable thoughts. However, he comes out as a singularly insensitive person who tells a man that he’s better off without his money than with it.
Question 53: Describe the church-going habits of the people of Raveloe.
Answer: The people of Raveloe are not very regular in going to the church. They believe that going to church “every Sunday in the calendar would have shown a greedy desire to stand well with Heaven.” This will get them “an undue advantage over their neighbours.” Hence, they would go there only occasionally.
All the people who were not household servants, or young men, are required to take the sacrament on the day of an important festival. The people were “good livers” went to the church more frequently stop.
Question 54: What kind of a woman is Dolly Winthrop in your opinion? Describe briefly.
Answer: Dolly Winthrop is the wheelwright’s wife. She is “a woman of scrupulous conscience” and is eager to fulfil her duties. She has a mellow and patient character and is not at all quarrelsome. She is the right person to contact in case of illness or death in a family, “when leeches were to be applied, or there was a sudden disappointment in a monthly nurse.” She is a good-looking woman with a fresh-complexion. Her “lips always slightly screwed, as if she felt herself in a sick-room with the doctor or the clergyman present.” She does not whine or cry. She is just “grave and inclined to shake her head and sigh, almost imperceptibly, like a funereal mourner who is not a relation.”
Question 55: Why is Dolly Winthrop worried about Silas?
Answer: Dolly Winthrop is worried about Silas because she sees him “in the light of a sufferer.” , Therefore it becomes her duty to comfort him, help him in his hour of need and to steer “him towards the faith. She takes lard-cakes, with I.H.S written on them, for Silas in the hope that “they’ll bring good to you, Master Marner, for it’s wi’ that will I brought you the cakes.” Silas is able to understand the “desire to give comfort that made itself heard in her quiet tones.” She takes it upon herself to get Silas to the church and to guide him i towards the faith. In this sense, she becomes his guide and mentor… and what mentor
would not be worried about the person he is mentoring!
Question 56: What was Nancy thinking as she rode to the Red House?
Answer: She thought about how she had made it clear to Godfrey that she would not marry him because of his “bad life”. But he was still paying her marked attention. However, he didn’t pay her attention always hence was not sincere. At times he behaved “as if he didn’t want to speak to her” and took no notice of her for weeks together. Above all, she thought he didn’t really love her because he allowed people “to say of him which they did say.” He ought to know that “she had been used to see in her own father, who was the soberest and best man in that countryside.”
Question 57: Why did Nancy wish that she and Priscilla dress alike?
Answer: Nancy wished that she and Priscilla should dress alike because they were sisters for “who shouldn’t dress alike if it isn’t sisters?” She thought that it was not right to go about dressed differently “looking as if we were no kin to one another.” She felt this necessity because they didn’t have a mother and had only each other. And for that, she was willing to dress as Priscilla pleased to wear. Strangely enough, Priscilla preferred to dress the same as Nancy.
Question 58: What did Ben Winthrop think about Godfrey and Nancy?
Answer: Ben Winthrop was happy to see Nancy partner with the young Squire. He had high regard for Nancy and thought nobody could be as pretty as her. He thought she looked very good with Godfrey and wouldn’t be surprised if she became Madam Cass one day. He was of the opinion that no one else could be a better Madam Cass. Apart from that, the two made a fine couple. He was sure there was nothing wrong with Godfrey.
Question 59: What were Nancy and Godfrey talking about after the dance?
Answer: Godfrey was feeling at the top of the world after a dance with Nancy. “He got rather bold on the strength of her confusion” and led her straight to the card-tables. She apologised for bringing him out of the dance, but he replied in an indifferent tone. She apologised once again to which he replied that she was being ill-natured to be sorry for dancing with him. Nancy defended herself by saying “one dance can matter but very little.” Godfrey assured her that that is not true and that a dance with her mattered a lot. She was taken aback and expressed her desire not to hear about it. At this Godfrey demanded to know if she would ever forgive him, would she never think well of him. He suggested that he could turn a good fellow and give up everything she didn’t like. Nancy conceded that she “should be glad to see a good change in anybody”; however it was more desirable “if no change was wanted.” He accused her of not having any feelings and she countered with “I think those have the least feeling that act wrong to begin with.”
Question 60: Describe the persona of Nancy Lammeter.
Answer: Nancy is a good country girl with a good and sound upbringing. She is very pretty and delicate. However, she does the household chores of “butter-making” and “cheese¬crushing” and is not ashamed about it. She does not have a refined speech like the city girls, but it does not bother her. She has an “unalterable little code” by which she lives and which governs her very approach to life. However, she doesn’t seem honest with herself. This is evident when she thinks about Godfrey and admits hurt when he doesn’t pay her attention. She is‘not willing to marry him because he lives a “bad life” which is not up to her expectations and her expectations, from herself and from others, are very high.
Question 61: Write a character sketch of Priscilla Lammeter.
Answer: Priscilla is Nancy’s older sister. She is described as a hard working, “cheerful-looking” and “blowsy” woman. But her ways are considered rough by some. She “bustles” her way about everywhere and is ready with solutions to problems. She knows that she is not pretty like her sister, but is very upbeat about it doesn’t care a bit. She has three goals in her life – to spread happiness and make the people around her happy, to see Nancy married and to make a home for her father. She is not ashamed of being a spinster – “I shall do credit to a single life, for God A’mighty meant me for it.”
Question 62: What was the gold that lay in front of the fire? How did Silas behave after seeing it?
Answer: When Silas recovered from the fit, he turned towards his hearth. The light from the fire grown dim. He sat on his fireside chair and was about to push the logs in the fire when his blurred vision saw something golden on the floor. He thought his gold had been returned to him. He stretched his hand to touch it, but “his fingers encountered soft warm curls.” Astonished, Silas bent over to inspect the golden object and discovered a sleeping child. Thinking he was dreaming, he pushed the logs together and threw some dried leaves and sticks to raise a flame. He saw the child in shabby clothes more clearly now.
Question 63: Describe Silas’ thoughts after finding the child.
Answer: Silas thought his little sister had come back to him. This child was quite like her. He was so shaken with this thought that he sank into his chair as memories from the past came rushing forward. He began to feel “old quiverings of tenderness” at the sleeping child. He was amazed at her mysterious appearance. He could not find a normal, natural explanation for this sudden presence. He just had “old impressions of awe at the presentiment of some Power presiding over his fife.”
When the child woke up and began crying for the mother, Silas held her close to him and “unconsciously uttered sounds of hushing tenderness”. He thought the child would be hungry so he heated.jap his porridge and fed her.
Question 64: What made Silas go out of his cottage to look for something? What did he discover?
Answer: The incessant crying of the child made Silas realise that her “wet boots were the grievance, pressing on her warm ankles.” As he took them off, it occurred to him that the child had been walking on the snow and that, perhaps, the mother was nearby. Without hesitating further, he got up and went out with the child in his arms. Soon as he opened it, the child uttered “Mammy!” and tried to extricate herself from his arms. Silas looked carefully and realised that “there was something more than the bush before him.” It was a human body, “head sunk low in the furze,” covered with snow.
Question 65: Describe Molly and her last hours.
Answer: Molly is Godfrey’s wife and has a child with him. Once a pretty woman, she is now ; wasted, thanks to opium and alcohol. She is seen heading towards Raveloe with her baby in her arms. Her sole intent is to revenge herself by telling the Squire that she is the wife of his first-born. However, she is also under the influence of her ‘demon’, namely opium. It is a cold day so she takes a sip of the ‘familiar demon’ (alcohol, I think) to warm herself. But, the demon begins “working his will” and she longs to lie down and sleep. She does not feel the coldness below her, neither is she bothered that the child might wake up and cry for her. Soon she is overtaken with complete lethargy and her arms loosen their hold on the child.
Question 66: Describe the actions of the child when she woke up in her mother’s arms.
Answer: From the moment Molly’s hold relaxes, the child wakes up and calls for her mother. She rolls down to the mother’s knees. She catches a glimpse of a bright light. Like any child, she walks on all-fours to catch it. She looks up to see where it is coming from and she stands up and toddles towards its source. She enters Silas’ cottage, settles down on the old sack and falls asleep. She wakes up shortly afterwards and begins to cry, perhaps because she is hungry. After being fed, she is quiet for a while then begins to cry again. As Silas removes her shoes, he realises that she has been out walking in the snow. He picks her up and goes out. As soon as he opened it, the child cried “Mammy!” again and again “stretching itself forward so as almost to escape from Silas’ arms.”
Question 67: Is Silas’ arrival at a public gathering a recurring event? How can you say?
Answer: There is a party on at the Red House. The rich are-making merry, and the poor are enjoying by watching the rich. There is a lot of activity on the floor. In the midst of this, Silas enters the room. He is carrying with himself the little child of the frozen woman. This is the second time that something happens in Silas’ house and he comes running to a public gathering and asks for help. And, once again people organise a search party and get out to help him, much like the way they had done when he had come to report the theft of his money.
In this sense, the arrival of Silas at a public gathering is a recurring event.
Question 68: When Godfrey recognised the dead woman, why didn’t he say so?
Answer: The sight of a dead Molly gives Godfrey a sense of relief. He now feels free of the bondage; at liberty to do his heart’s desire – marry Nancy. If he had publicly recognised Molly he would have had to give a justification of how he knew her. The secret of his marriage, and the fact that he had a child with her, would have come out and his chances with Nancy would have been ruined forever. Keeping all these considerations in mind, he does not say a word. He goes on to say “I see it’s not the same woman I saw.”
Question 69: Why does Godfrey think that he “would be much happier without owning the child”?
Answer: Godfrey, at this point, is free to marry anyone he chooses, and he has chosen Nancy. If he owns the child as his, his lies will come out in the open. People will get to know about his secret marriage and how terribly he behaved with his lawfully wedded wife. He does feel a sense of responsibility towards the child. He also feels a “a strange mixture of feelings, a conflict of regret and joy, that the pulse of that little heart had no response for the half-jealous yearning in his own, when the blue eyes turned away from him slowly, and fixed themselves on the weaver’s queer face.”
Notwithstanding all this, he thinks that, at this point in his life, he doesn’t need a child.
Question 70: Write about Godfrey’s thoughts when he saw Silas with his child at the Red House.
Answer: The appearance of Silas with the child in his arms startles Godfrey. Perhaps he was the first person who spots the weaver. He thinks if it “was an apparition from that hidden life which lies, like a dark by-street.” He immediately recognises the child as his own but is ready to doubt himself for “he had not seen the child for months past.” He hopes that he has made a mistake and that Silas and the child are but apparitions. He goes near him just as Mr. Crackenthorp and Mr. Lammeter come closer. He wants to hear everything that is being said. He is trying to take a hold on himself because he knows that, should people watch him intensely, “they must see that he was white-lipped and trembling.”
Question 72: Describe the change that you see in Silas in this chapter.
Answer: Before entering the Red House, Silas is unaware of any emotions for the child. But, when Ms. Kimble suggests that he leave her with them, Silas reacts abruptly – “I can’t part with it, I can’t let it go… It’s come to me — I’ve a right to keep it.” It is at this point that he actually contemplates taking the child back home with him. His words come to him as a revelation. When Godfrey suggests that he will take the child to the parish next day, he says “Till anybody shows they’ve a right to take her away from me. The mother’s dead, and I reckon it’s got no father: it’s a lone thing — and I’m a lone thing.” This chapter marks the beginning of a new phase in Silas’ life when he is seen getting out from his reclusion and reaching out to others.
Question 73: What is a “pauper’s burial”?
Answer: “Pauper’s burial” is a funeral that is paid for by public funds since the dead person has left no money behind for the same intent. In that case, such a funeral must consist of basic prayers and funereal ceremonies. The casket must be of plain wood as would everything else that goes with funerals.
Question 74: What does Dolly have to say about christening the child? Why is it important?
Answer: We know that Dolly is a very devout churchgoer. For her simple mind, christening of a child is very important because it is a very important religious ritual. It allows entry into the church and all that it stands for. Moreover, christening the baby is “the right thing by the orphan child.” Dolly believes that the baby hadn’t been christened before so it becomes that much more important to do so now. Because only christening could save a person from harm should he “went anyways wrong.” Parents must do their duty by completing this ceremony.
Question 75: Why does Silas agree for the christening when he himself had lost his faith?
Answer: To begin with, Silas doesn’t know what christening is. He recalls that baptism used to be done in Lantern Yard but has no clue about this term. He wants to know from Dolly that without being christened “Won’t folks be good to her without it?”
He accepts that his faith is different from that of the people in Rpveloe. However, he is willing to do “everything as can be done for the child. And whatever’s right for it i’ this country, and you think ‘ull do it good.” He loves the child so much that only the best is good enough for it.
Question 76: Explain the sentence “As the child’s mind was growing into knowledge, his mind was growing into memory” in the light of chapter-14.
Answer: We see Eppie growing every day in this chapter. She is learning new things and experimenting with new things. But, another person is growing with her, and that is her father, Silas – who is beginning to remember long forgotten things. While walking in the fields and along the bank, they hear bird notes, they see the nature, the plants and the trees. Instinctively Silas begins to look for “the once familiar herbs”. He turns away from these recollections to take refuge in Eppie’s little world.
As her life unfolds itself, Silas’ soul seems to be coming out from “a cold narrow prison” where it lay “long stupefied”. It was waking up slowly to become completely awake.
A good part of this chapter is dedicated to growing up, both physically and internally.
Question 77: How does Eppie’s existence shape Silas’ life?
Answer: From the first day itself, Silas begins to reorganise his daily life according to the child’s demands and necessities. He does everything for her because he wants her to be attached to him and him alone. The growing Eppie begins to speak more distinctly, and Silas’ “heart grew articulate, and called for more distinct answers.” She becomes mischievous, and Silas learnt to be patient and being watchful. His life and reason for living resides in her and she knows that “with her short toddling steps, must lead father Silas a pretty dance on any fine morning when circumstances favoured mischief.”
She gives many a tough moments to Silas but he would not exchange them for anything in the world. Eppie is his purpose in life.
Question 78: Hpw does Silas rear Eppie?
Answer: Dolly suggests a punishment that Silas could give to Eppie so that she stays away from trouble. So, when the day she uses the scissors to cut off the string that is tied to, she wanders all by herself. Silas realises after sometime that she is not there. He calls her out, but she is nowhere to be found. He becomes frantic and rushes out to look for her… which he does after sometime. However, she is safe and sound and Silas thinks it is time to punish her; so, he sends her into the coal room. But, the girl likes this game and goes back again. Dolly’s suggestion doesn’t work.
Since Silas is incapable of beating her, he raises her without punishments.
Question 79: Describe chapter-15 in your own words. Do you think it has any importance in the book? Give reasons for your answer.
Answer: This is a brief and uneventful chapter. No action actually takes place. The author just states the situations the way they are. Godfrey is interested in the well-being of his daughter; Dunstan does not return and is not to be found anywhere. The former is relieved because now he can réalisé his dream of marrying Nancy and having a family with her.
On the other hand, Eppie is growing happily with Silas. Godfrey is relieved that “The child was being taken care of, and would very likely be happy, as people in humble stations often were — happier, perhaps, than those brought up in luxury.” While he imagines himself playing with his (and Nancy’s) children, he resolves not to forget about Eppie and ensures that she is well-provided for This chapter seems to be marking an end to a phase or a passage of time.
Question 80: Describe how the various characters of the story have changed in the past sixteen years.
Answer: Eppie is now a glowing young woman of 18. Silas is not more than 55 years old. Godfrey Cass is all but 40 and Nancy a bit younger than him. Needless to say, their countenance have also changed. Godfrey is “only fuller in flesh, and has only lost the indefinable look of youth… Nancy’s beauty has a heightened interest.” Silas’ large brown eyes seem to have a better vision. However, he still has a lean body and his “shoulders and white hair” make him look much older than his age. Eppie is the “freshest blossom of youth” – a pretty blond girl with curly hair that frame her dimpled face. Aaron has grown up to be a good looking young man, ever willing to help Silas in whatever he does for Eppie.
Question 81: Write about how Silas and Eppie plan their garden.
Answer: Eppie wishes for a garden outside the cottage and she wants to put double daisies in it. Aaron volunteers to do the digging and Eppie and Silas “mark out the beds, and make holes and plant the roots.” She plans to grow rosemary, bergamot and thyme because of their perfume. She would like to grow some lavender, too. Aaron promises her to get it from the garden at the Red House.
Then she decides to take the furze bush into the garden because her mother had died next to that bush. She plans to put it in a corner and snowdrops and crocuses would be put just against it. Silas suggests that they will have to think about the fencing otherwise donkeys will eat her plants. Eppie says “There’s lots o’ loose stones about, some of ’em not big, and we might lay ’em atop of one another, and make a wall.”
Question 82: Was the cottage in which Silas lived with his daughter still the same? Cite from the text in support of your answer.
Answer: Silas’ cottage had undergone many changes. They had pet animals (dog, cat, kitten) in the house. The bed in the living room had been removed. Now there is decent furniture there, thanks to Godfrey Cass. “The oaken table and three-cornered oaken chair were hardly what was likely to be seen in so poor a cottage: they had come, with the beds and other things, from the Red House.” The place and the furniture were “all bright and clean enough to satisfy Dolly Winthrop’s eye.”
The cottage has become a home and a hearth. And now, it will be even more beautiful with the addition of Eppie’s garden.
Question 83: Do you think confiding in Dolly Winthrop would have helped Silas come to terms with his past? How can you say?
Answer: Dolly Winthrop is a nice person who is always willing to help. When Silas confines about his life in Lantern Yard and how he was disgraced, she lend a sympathetic ear. This revelation by Silas would have lightened his hear considerably. Dolly returns after a few days and talks about what she thought about “the drawing of the lots.” She tells him that he should have continued to trusting his fellows and not run away. That way he wouldn’t have to live alone for such a long time. Silas accepts this but also says “it ‘ud ha’ been hard to trusten then.”
I feel that by talking to Dolly and discussing a matter that he shut away for such a long time gave Silas the release he was yearning for. It was really a coming to terms with his past, accepting for what it was and moving on.
Question 84: What does the author mean by “with reawakening sensibilities, memory also reawakened, he had begun to ponder over the elements of his old faith, and blend them with his new impressions, till he recovered a consciousness of unity between his past and present”? Give reasons for your answer.
Answer: The author is describing the mental state of Silas. Talking to Dolly about the past reawakens many memories. Silas begins to reflect upon the faith he had and followed in Lantern Yard. Then he ponders about the faith here. Without knowing it, he has blended the two into one – his faith. And in doing so, he is able to align his past and his present. I imagine that after this there wouldn’t be any space left for bitterness, loneliness and distrust in Silas. He would ultimately find peace that had evaded him up to the time Eppie came in his life.
Question 85: Why was starting a dairy a good idea according to Priscilla? What does Nancy have to say about it?
Answer: Priscilla considers starting a dairy a good idea because it keeps the body and mind busy. He passes quickly and there is so much to do. There is so much happiness to be got from a dairy. Even when it is deep winter, some produce can be had from a dairy. Nancy agrees with this point of view but emphasises that “a dairy’s not so much to a man.” It could never fill the void in Godfrey and she can be happy only when he is happy.
Question 86: What does the author mean by saying “She had been forced to vex him by that one denial”? Explain.
Answer: The author talks about the denial to adopt in this sentence. After having lost their only child, Godfrey and Nancy are desolate. They both feel the lack of a child, but Godfrey suffers more than his wife. He suggests adoption. He even tells the name of the child he has in mind – Eppie. But, Nancy is adamant and is completely against adoption. She believes that one cannot bring up someone else’s child; something goes wrong in the upbringing and the child turns out wrong. Godfrey tries to reason with her, but to no avail. She is also aware that her denial has caused him a lot of pain, but she feels that she has done the right thing..
Question 87: What is Nancy’s mood in this chapter? How do you know?
Answer: Nancy seems to be in despondent mood. Her father and sister have returned to the Warrens. Godfrey has gone on his Sunday afternoon pursuit. She is alone at home with ! the Bible. She begins to read it but soon her mind wanders off. She lives “the vacant moments by living inwardly, again and again, through all her remembered experience, especially through the fifteen years of her married time.” She always asks herself if she has done enough. She is deeply hurt with the fact that their childlessness weighs so heavily on her husband’s mind. She also questions herself on her denial of adoption. She loves her husband dearly but his yearning for children is something she cannot cope with. She is happy because she has a wonderful husband who loves her so much, but she is immensely sad deep within.
Question 88: Why is Godfrey convinced of being in the right?
Answer: Godfrey is convinced of being in the right because he is her lawful father. He knows that were he to lay a claim on her, the law would be on his side and he would get Eppie’s custody. He has followed Eppie’s progress all along. The fact that she is happy where she is, and more importantly, is attached to Silas (as he is to her) is of no consequence to Godfrey. He is also convinced that Silas would agree to give up Eppie to him and “be glad that such good fortune should happen to her”. Godfrey is simply not capable of looking at things from any other point of view that is different from his.
Question 89: Do you think Godfrey felt at peace with himself after confessing to his wife? How can you say?
Answer: Yes, Godfrey must have felt a sense of peace and calm about him. He had been living with a dark secret in his Impart from a very long time. Dunstan had used his weakness to the full and had succeeded in blackmailing him. He had contemplated revealing it to his father, but had decided against it at the last moment because he was filled with the fear that Nancy would reject after knowing the truth.
But, with Dunstan dead, there was no one to instil any fear in Godfrey. It must have been this feeling that made him come clean with his wife.
Question 90: Why didn’t he confide in his wife before? What did he fear?
Answer: His first and foremost fear was not being able to marry Nancy. For he was sure that if she came to know about his marriage before, she wouldn’t have married him. He says as much – “You may think you would now, but you wouldn’t then. With your pride and your father’s, you’d have hated having anything to do with me after the talk there’d have been.”
The second reason, in my opinion, would have been the fact that she could have been less charitable with Eppie because they had lost their child in infancy.
Question 91: What do you think the author wants to say with the following sentence – “He had not measured this wife with whom he had lived so long”?
Answer: The author describes Godfrey’s understanding of Nancy’s character in this sentence. They had been married for a long time and had loved each other. They had been through a tragedy (the loss of their child) together and had stood by each other in the most difficult of circumstances. However, he never ever thought that she would willingly adopt his child and make it her own. In this sense, he hadn’t understood the woman who lived with him and who was his wife.
He realised that he should have come clean about his error much before because it “was not simply futile, but had defeated its own end.”
Question 92: What is Nancy’s reaction to her husband’s revelation? What do you understand about her character from this behaviour?
Answer: Nancy deals with her husband’s revelation with utter dignity. While she is looking Godfrey in the eye when they talk, but after the confession she “quite still, only that her eyes dropped and ceased to meet his.” She is “pale and quiet as a meditative statue, clasping her hands on her lap” which indicates that she hasn’t liked what she has heard. However, when she speaks up, it is with deep regret at her husband’s action. She says that had she known this years ago, she would have adopted Eppie as her own. She feels that if they “had her from the first… she’d have loved me for her mother and… I could better have bore my little baby dying.”
This reaction reveals a fine and sensitive woman who can empathise with others. She is also a loving mother and a suffering woman who has not got over her child’s death.
Question 93: Do you feel that Godfrey and Nancy really had Eppie’s welfare in mind when they decided to meet Silas that night? Give reasons for your answer.
Answer: Yes, I think that they were sincere in their hearts and really thought about Eppie’s welfare. According to me, the news of Dunstan’s death ‘released’ Godfrey in a way. He must have felt free for the first time in his life; he must have felt gratitude for not having to hide his secret. This must have encouraged him to talk to his wife and tell her everything.
Nancy, on the other hand, was perhaps hurt. Yet she was able to rise above her own sorrow and see the wrong that had been done to a little child. Somewhere there was the emptiness in her caused by her child’s death. She seemed in earnest when she said “I’ll do my part by her, and pray to God Almighty to make her love me.”
Question 94: Comment on Godfrey’s presumption in taking Eppie home with him.
Answer: Even though Godfrey has gathered courage to confess his first marriage to his wife, his vanity has not diminished. He presumes that he has a right over Eppie because he is her biological father. He wants to do his duty as a father. He wants to clear his conscience. He wants to make amends. He never stops to consider that Eppie may have her points of view on these matters. He doesn’t allow for the possibility that she may not wish to be a lady. ““But I’ve a claim on you, Eppie — the strongest of all claims,” says he. Again, when Eppie takes her final decision, he is hurt because his purpose has been denied. At any stage, it is about himself he is thinking about. The fact that his words may hurt Silas and Eppie is of no importance to him.
Question 95: Do you think he was being unsympathetic towards Silas? Give reasons for your answer.
Answer: Godfrey is definitely oblivious to how other people would react to his proposal. Sixteen years ago, he declined to own the child because he didn’t want to be a father. At that time, he never spared a thought for the child and her need for a family and her home. Even now, he has the same stance. He feels indebted to Silas for having cared for his daughter but expects that the latter let the girl go because the rightful father has finally decided to acknowledge her as his own. He is willing to help Silas in his old age. He is not able to understand the pain he has caused them, neither does he understand the meaning behind Silas’ statement “When a man turns a blessing from his door, it falls to them as take it in.”
Question 96: Was Eppie right in refusing the Cass’ offer? How can you say?
Answer: I think Eppie was absolutely right in refusing the Cass’ offer. She brings to their notice the fact that Silas cared for her when she needed it the most. She is the only father she knows and “should have no delight i’ life any more if I was forced to go away from my father, and knew he was sitting at home, a-thinking of me and feeling lone.” She says very firmly “nobody shall ever come between him and me.” When Nancy reminds of her duty towards her lawful father, she replies “I can’t feel as I’ve got any father but one.” She doesn’t know and trust her “lawful father” and in any case she has “always thought of a little home where he’d sit i’ the comer, and I should fend and do everything for him: I can’t think o’ no other hojne”.
Question 97: If you were in Nancy’s place, how would you feel after Eppie’s rejection of her proposal?
Answer: I would feel very low after Eppie’s rejection of my proposal if I were in Nancy’s place. The proposal had been thought with the view of giving me and my husband a child to care for. I could see a possibility of becoming a mother one more time and I would look forward to it. Hence, Eppie’s refusal would break my heart. However, I would try to understand the shock my words would give to both Silas and Eppie. And I would wish them well with a promise in my heart that I would look after this child in any way I could.
Question 98: What do you think was the intention behind Godfrey’s decision to talk to Silas and Eppie?
Answer: Godfrey realised his mistake and tried to make amends. That was his real intention behind meeting Silas and Eppie. He wanted to atone for his errors by offering to own up his fatherhood and take Eppie to his house as his daughter. The act was that of liberation for him and he did not feel the weight of his conscience any more.
Therefore it can be said that, for a change, his intentions were not bad and he had only Eppie’s good in his heart.
Question 99: Describe the punishment that Godfrey thought he got. Do you think he is right?
Answer: Sixteen years ago, when Eppie appeared at Silas’ door and the body of her mother was discovered, Godfrey didn’t wish to appear anything but childless. Now, fate had dealt a blow and he had to appear childless for the rest of his life in spite of having a daughter. This was the punishment he thought he got for running away from his duties.
Nothing in the contrary has been written by the author, so I assume, that he was right in thinking so and accepting his fate for what it was.
Question 100: Is this a sad ending for Godfrey? Give reasons for your answer.
Answer: This is not a sad ending for Godfrey. They continued to remain childless, but Godfrey found peace in his heart – something that was evading him from a long time. He also found strength in him as he confessed to Nancy about his previous marriage in complete honesty. His efforts to provide for Eppie, to make amends for his behaviour, cleaned his conscience. Moreover, tliere seemed to be a new understanding between the trusting husband and wife. Nancy mentioned in all sincerity that he ought to “resigned yourself to the lot that’s been given us”, which he does promptly – “perhaps it isn’t too late to mend a bit there.”
Question 101: Do you think this chapter is important for the novel? Give reasons for your answer.
Answer: I think that this chapter is of great importance. In that it brings the story of Silas to a full circle. The narrative began in Lantern Yard and ends at the same place. Silas Marner starts off as a young man who was wronged by people close to him; he relocates to Raveloe and lives as a recluse. His money gets stolen, but he is blessed with an orphan child that appears at his door. He changes from a recluse to a loving person who would do anything for that child. With return of his money he gains more confidence and decides to return to Lantern Yard. He is decidedly not the same person who left it so many years ago. He has questions, but he has grown into a loving human being.
Question 102: Describe the change in Silas’ character.
Answer: In the first chapter Silas Marner is a simple and truthful man. He is falsely accused of a crime and is forced to shift to a far-off town – Raveloe. He lives a life of a recluse and dedicates himself to his work and hoarding his money. Fifteen years later the Squire’s son steals his money. This forces him to confront others. He communicates with others for the first time and finds sympathetic people. Then a little girl appears at his door. He brings her up like his own child. This changes him into a loving man.
Upon his return to Lantern Yard, he finds his home-chapel-graveyard replaced by a factory. He realises that he must give up his past and look forward to the future. He should trust that someone above knows that he was innocent. This visit fills him with a sense of peace and reignites his faith.