Study Help Essay Questions


1. Discuss Eliot's use of Biblical allusions and their function in the novel.

2. What sort of dramatic or thematic unity do you find in the tale of Silas Marner?

3. Discuss the various ways in which Eliot portrays or develops characters.

4. Contrast the methods used to characterize Silas and Mr. Macey.

5. Does Eliot express any personal religious beliefs through this novel? How does religion affect the lives of the characters?

6. Aside from Silas' visit to Lantern Yard, does the novel offer any comment on contemporary industrial conditions?

7. Silas Marner is frequently referred to as a "fairy tale." What fairy tale elements does it have? Does the label fit?

8. Discuss Eliot's use of comic irony.

9. Is coincidence overworked in the plot of Silas Marner?

10. What is the purpose of introducing the peddler as a suspect in the robbery?

11. Do you think the novel would be more effective if Eliot did not intrude in the story?

12. Compare the technique or style of Silas Marner to that of any other novel by George Eliot.

13. "No man can begin to mould himself on a faith or an idea without rising to a higher order of experience." Apply this statement by Eliot to Silas Marner.

14. Can Silas' final view of life be reconciled with life as Godfrey experiences it?

15. Do you think Silas Marner was written to make a philosophical point?

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