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CHAPTER 10: Summary
But as no news arrived over the next few weeks, the villagers of Raveloe slowly lost interest in Silas Marner’s robbery. Raveloe opinion on the robbery continued to be divided between the idea that the peddler was the thief and the theory that it was an impenetrable mystery.
The villagers turn to Justice Malam which brought forth no results. As the weeks passed, the villagers predictably lost their enthusiasm to see justice done. Dunstan Cass’s disappearance did not bring about any speculation as he would often vanish.
No one, not even Godfrey connected the two incidents. While the villagers argued about the culprit being the peddler or the devil, poor Silas was in mourning. Without his gold, his life was meaningless.
Instead of thinking of Silas as cunning, the villagers now thought of him as a little dim. Naturally, they liked him better. Mr Macey, visited him expressly to tell Silas that he liked him better. Silas was not overwhelmed by this show of friendship. He thanked Mr Macey. The visitor continued that if Silas would only get some nice clothes, he could come to church and be “a bit neighbourly”. Dolly Winthrop, the wheel
Christmas Day found Silas alone as always, while in the village the bells rang and the church was a filler after church there were feasts and parties. These were family parties. The villagers looked forward to the great dance at the Red House on New Year’s Eve. Silas celebrated Christmas alone. At Squire Cass’s house, no one talked about the fact that Dunstan still hadn’t reappeared. Everyone looked forward to Squire Cass’s annual New Year’s Eve dance, especially Godfrey—who could not wait to sit near Nancy. He was afraid that Dunstan might return or that his father would bring matters to a head.
Q1. How has the author brought out the theme of the dignity of human labour through class distinctions?
Ans. The novel’s subtitle, ‘The Weaver of Raveloe’, draws attention to the influence of labour. Silas is isolated from the rest of the village, living at the edge of town, working as a weaver. Work claims all of Silas’ attention until he receives his first money. Then the money he earns from weaving fills him with happiness and satisfaction that was lacking from his lack of human companionship and communication.
Godfrey and Dunstan’s father had an estate to run, and almost everyone else in the village was defined by their occupation. Even Godfrey’s bride to be, the lovely Nancy, a farmer’s daughter, made cheese and butter with her own hands.
In the early parts of the novel, Godfrey Cass and his reckless younger brother Dunstan was unusual in apparently having no work to do. Their idleness condemned them to vice and folly. By building this contrast, the author presented the ennobling influence of work.
Q2. Change is an important theme in ‘Silas Marner’. How is this theme brought out as a result of the robbery?
Ans. Since Silas Marner is about rebirth and redemption, change is an important theme.
Silas has changed since the robbery. The change is pronounced, but it is a natural result of his misfortunes. Its roots go back all the way to the day he came to Raveloe. He did not then require the companionship of his gold, but now he cannot be content without it as he has become dependent on its presence, which “fenced him in from the wide, cheerless unknown.” The gold brought no real fulfilment. Its disappearance leaves only a blank, but it prepares him for the possibility of human contacts. Silas enters the Rainbow. He ventures out. In fact, when Silas realised that Jem was innocent, he apologises. Silas becomes more receptive to friendly overtures; he no longer wishes that visitors would go on their way, as he once did with Jen Rodney.
People are no longer distrustful even though they think he is crazy.
Mr Macey visited him expressly to tell Silas that he liked him better. The visitor continued that if Silas would only get some nice clothes, he could come to church and be “a bit neighbourly”. Dolly Winthrop, the wheelwright’s wife, had the same advice. She visited Silas one Sunday afternoon with some delicious-sounding cakes, carrying along her seven-year-old son, Aaron. They both urge him respectively to visit the church. Silas is no longer averse to human contact. It sets the stage for Eppie to enter his life.