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CHAPTER 12: Summary
Godfrey’s wife was going into Raveloe as she was determined to take revenge. She planned to show up at the Red House with her child and confront Godfrey. She’s was bitter and angry. Her real problem was her addiction to opium. It was late and snow was falling. Molly had the opium tucked away in her dress.
After she took it, she sat down under a hedge and fell asleep. Her little daughter woke up and saw a light in the distance. This very self-possessed toddler followed the light into Silas Marner’s warm cottage, where she tucked herself in front of the fire. When Silas entered, he just stood by the door in a trance, and when snapped out of it and turned back to the house, he saw a little pile of gold on the floor. He reached out to touch it, but it was not cold and hard but was warm and soft. It was the little girl’s hair. He was understandably stunned. The little girl who he mistook as a little pile of gold ‘started to cry. Silas hugged her and warmed some porridge and sugar. He pulled off her wet boots and realised that she must have walked in the snow. He goes to the door and follows her footsteps until he finds a human body sleeping in the snow.
A key symbolic difference between Dunstan’s visit and the little girl’s, however, is that Silas opens the door himself this time. Even though he opens the door only to peer out into the darkness after his lost gold, and though he is unaware that the girl actually enters, Silas’s act of standing at his open door contrasts markedly with his previous habits. Silas was once a man obsessed with isolation—closing his shutters, locking his doors, and viewing his customers as nothing more than a means to acquire more money. In opening his door, Silas symbolically opens himself up to the outside world from which he has lived apart for so long.
Q1. Describe the circumstances under which Silas’ “gold” was restored to him in the form of Eppie.
Ans. The appearance of the little girl on Silas’s hearth is one of the major intersections between the parallel narratives of Silas and the Cass family. It is one of the novel’s major turning points. Eppie’s appearance at once fills Silas’s sense of loss and steers his process of reentering the community. The fact that Silas first mistakes the little girl for his gold which was previously the central driving force of his life. Eppie’s appearance foreshadows the strength of the bond that Silas will soon forge with Raveloe.
Eppie was sleeping in her mother’s arms and had woken up to’ see a light in the distance. This very self-possessed toddler followed the light into Silas Marner’s warm cottage, where she tucked herself in front of the fire. Silas first mistook her for a pile of gold. When Eppie cried, Silas hugged her and warmed some porridge and sugar. He pulled off her wet boots. Silas just had “old impressions of awe at the presentiment of some Power presiding over his life”