Silas Marner

character sketch of silas marner


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Silas Marner is a linen-weaver who, as a young man, is falsely accused of theft and thus cast out as a scapegoat from the close-knit church community of Lantern Yard. He settles on the outskirts of the village of Raveloe, his faith in both God and humanity shattered by his experience in Lantern Yard. He quietly plies his trade, an odd and lonely stranger in the eyes of the villagers. Marner is the quintessential miser in English literature, collecting and hoarding the gold he earns at his loom. In the course of the novel his gold is stolen. Some time later, he finds a baby girl, Eppie, asleep at his hearth. His love for this golden-haired foundling child-who, in the novel's most famous symbol, replaces Marner's beloved gold pieces in his affection-facilitates his return to faith and humanity.