Silas Marner By George Eliot Summary and Analysis Part 2: Conclusion

Summary

Eppie is married on a morning when the lilacs are blooming and the sun is shining. Her gown was provided by Mrs. Godfrey Cass. Mr. Cass unfortunately is out of town on the day of the wedding. Priscilla Lammeter, coming to keep her sister company, sees the bridal party and wishes that Nancy could have found a child like that.

The bridal party is seen by the humbler part of the village, too. Old Mr. Macey proclaims that he has lived to see his words come true, for Silas has got his money back, and rightfully so. The party of guests at the Rainbow are already assembled, and they have joined in agreement that Silas has brought a blessing on himself by being a father to an orphan.

Analysis

Eliot's use of nature images has been noted earlier. The whole environment sometimes reflects a character's reaction to his situation or his relationship with humanity. Recall the darkness and rain that accompanied Dunstan, the darkness that had fallen on Lantern Yard. Here sunshine is the harbinger of happiness for Eppie and Aaron, as well as for Silas. Important imagery is continued in other ways: Eppie's hair is a "dash of gold"; she is dressed in pure white, recalling that she was once pictured as a "white-winged angel."

The relationship with Godfrey is brought into its final focus. It is apparent that Godfrey still feels some pain for his daughter, for he has found reason to be out of town. The truth is still not known in Raveloe, however, and that ignorance is made the source of a double irony. Raveloe thinks the most important part of Godfrey's feeling is that Silas "had been wronged by one of his own family." This is true, but the guilty party is not the one they think of. This is followed by a more personal reference from Priscilla: "I could ha' wished Nancy had had the luck to find a child like that and bring her up." Priscilla's more intimate knowledge, coupled with an ignorance equal to the villagers', gives a new angle of irony.

A final word is heard from the chorus, mainly in the persons of Macey and the farrier. Community sentiment toward Silas is summed up in the general feeling "that he had brought a blessing on himself." For once, there is no contradiction.

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