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Silas Marner - Character
What a pretty home ours is!

Silas Marner - Character

This GCSE English Literature quiz takes a look at character in Silas Marner by George Eliot.

George Eliot’s novel, Silas Marner, is populated by a handful of key characters and an entire village of minor characters. The main characters are Silas, the weaver, land-owners Godfrey and Dunstan Cass, Nancy Lammeter, Eppie, Dolly and Aaron Winthrop. Other characters appear only briefly, but are highly significant to the plot. These include Eppie’s mother, Molly Farren, Squire Cass, and William Dane, Silas’s best friend before his relocation to Raveloe. Local characters include the doctor, farrier and inn-keeper, among others.

"It was impossible to have lived with her fifteen years and not be aware that an unselfish clinging to the right, and a sincerity clear as the flower-born dew, were her main characteristics." What does this statement tell the reader about Godfrey's view of Nancy?
Godfrey believes that her behaviour is both predictable and explicable
Godfrey believes Nancy to be unjust
Godfrey believes that Nancy changes her views depending on circumstances
Godfrey believes she is too harsh
Godfrey is prevented from confessing his relationship to Eppie by his understanding of Nancy's very clear moral outlook and the straightforward relationship between her morals and her behaviour. She later surprises him by condemning him not for his first marriage, but for not confessing sooner in order to adopt Eppie
Why does Silas apologise so quickly after accusing Jem Rodney of stealing his gold?
He wishes to hide his true feelings
He is a swift-tempered man
He is afraid of angering the men in the Rainbow
He remembers how it felt to be falsely accused and wishes to be just
Silas is an honest man and is horrified that he has fallen so easily into the same behaviour that caused him to lose everything as a young man
"'O, father,' said Eppie, 'what a pretty home ours is! I think nobody could be happier than we are.'" What does the final line of the novel tell us of Eppie's priorities?
Simple domestic relationships give her great joy
Her early abandonment had no effect on her life
Eppie has forgotten all about her real father
Eppie prefers daydreams to reality
Silas's simple and overpowering love for the orphaned child helps her to develop into an adult who finds joy in a simple home and in those who live there
When Silas warns Eppie that she will make herself "beholden" to Aaron by allowing him to create a garden, she responds by disagreeing, saying that "he likes it". What does this tell us of Eppie's character?
She is selfish
She is used to being beloved
She enjoys toying with Aaron's feelings
She is unaware of Aaron's feelings for her
Eppie has been raised with such love that it is entirely natural to her to be as beloved by Aaron as she is by her father
When Eppie refuses the offer to live with Godfrey and Nancy, she explains that she does not wish to be a lady. What does her refusal demonstrate about her character?
She is both humble and confident
She is proud and ungrateful
She is affectionate but gullible
She is condescending and severe
Eppie's refusal of the offer shows that she is determined and confident enough to speak honestly to those who occupy a greater social position than her own. Her apparent lack of interest in the wealthy lifestyle offered demonstrates her happiness with a humble life
Which of the following best describes Dunstan's character?
All of the above
Dunstan appears to have no redeeming characteristics
"No! he would rather trust to casualties than to his own resolve — rather go on sitting at the feast and sipping the wine he loved, though with the sword hanging over him and terror in his heart, than rush away into the cold darkness where there was no pleasure left." What do these lines reveal of Godfrey's character?
He is weak-willed
He is courageous
He is a cautious man by nature
He enjoys the thrill of danger
Godfrey wishes to do well and to do what is right, but is also afraid of unpleasant consequences. He trusts to chance to somehow rectify the situation in which his choices have landed him
"Silas was still looking at his friend. Suddenly a deep flush came over his face, and he was about to speak impetuously, when he seemed checked again by some inward shock, that sent the flush back and made him tremble." What is the reason for Silas's blush here?
He is shy and easily embarrassed
He dreads speaking in front of a group of people
He realises suddenly that his friend has lied about him
He does not wish anyone to know how much he cares for his fiancée
Silas is shocked by his friend's betrayal. This shock contributes strongly to his loss of faith in human fellowship
Which of the following does NOT describe Aaron?
Aaron represents the idealised honest country labourer
Which of the following best describes Dolly?
Reluctant, dutiful, traditional
Honest, caring, traditional
Nosy, caring, unthinking
Superstitious, dour, dutiful
Dolly's insistence on providing help and advice to Silas proves essential in helping him to keep and raise Eppie. The warmth of her character eventually encourages Silas to be open about his painful past
Author:  Sheri Smith

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