2 WealthWhat are the various kinds of wealth in Silas Marner? Who has real wealth?What can wealth do for people in Silas Marner? Why doesn't Eppie accept Godfrey's offer of adoption?Why does Silas accumulate gold? What purpose does it serve in his life, and what kind of relationship with it does he develop?What is the relationship/parallel between wealth and spiritual fortitude. Can one achieve both at once?What is the relationship between wealth and greed?
3 GreedWhat different types of greed does Eliot explore? What is desirable in the world of the novel?What's the relationship between greed and wealth? Greed and poverty?Are there any instances in which greed becomes a positive emotion? Can greed be channeled for good?What is the relationship between wealth and greed?
4 ReligionDoes Eliot seem to approve of any one kind of religious belief over another?What is the purpose of religion in the novel? Why do people go to church?Given that Eppie appears at Christmas, to what extent could you argue thatSilas Marner is an allegory of Christian salvation? (Take into consideration Elliot’s own religious journey)
5 TraditionsWhat is the difference between habit and tradition in Silas Marner? Where does Eliot draw the line?Do certain traditions seem outdated in the novel? Where do novelty and newness come from?How sincere is Eliot in praising the traditions of the villagers? For example, are we supposed to read her praise of the New Year's celebration at Red House as ironic?What's the relationship of tradition to religion? To superstition?
6 Misc…What happens when communities are destroyed? Lantern-Yard has completely disappeared because it's been turned into a factory; what does Eliot suggest will happen to Raveloe? How might one view this as Elliot’s commentary on a world that is slowly becoming industrialized?Who changes the most in the novel? What's the difference between maturation (as with Eppie, and possible Godfrey) and true change as an adult?Given the number of realistic tragedies that occur in the first half of the novel, are we to condemn Elliot for her mawkish ending? In other words, are we to criticize her for the “happily ever after”?To what extent is this a moralistic fable?
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