This GCSE English Literature quiz is the second of two extract questions for Silas Marner by George Eliot. It takes place towards the end of the first part of the novel, after the death of Molly Farren and the arrival of Eppie. Silas has surprised those gathered at the Red House by wishing to keep the young child. Godfrey and his uncle accompany Silas to his cottage to see if anything can be done for the woman found in the snow, although each man has his own reasons for doing so. This passage marks a significant turning point and also sets up themes which will be revisited in the second part of the novel.
Always ensure that you read a passage through carefully more than once when answering an extract question in an exam.
This is never a waste of time. On your first reading, you can aim for a broad understanding of the passage and consider how you might use it to answer the question. The second reading is the time to make detailed notes and annotations and to begin to gather your thoughts. It is a good idea to ask yourself why the specific passage has been chosen. How does it fit with the rest of the text? Are any significant characters or significant themes introduced? What events follow? Are later events foreshadowed in the chosen passage? Does it mark a turning point? Also consider the ending of the extract: why do you think it ends where it does instead of somewhere else? Is there anything significant about the final line?
Remember to pay close attention to the question you have chosen to answer. You might be asked to write about mood and atmosphere, or a particular character, or even about your personal response to the passage or to a character. You might be asked to discuss dialogue, behaviour or feelings. Always explain the passage’s immediate context: acknowledge the events which precede the extract. Pay close attention to the detail, to setting and characterisation. Analyse and discuss the relationship between the excerpt and the themes of the text. Structure your response by grouping related ideas together in your writing. Remember to leave enough time to discuss the entire passage rather than analysing one section in detail and then neglecting the remainder of the extract! And remember, it’s a good idea to practise several extract questions, so be sure to try the Extract 1 quiz, as well!
Read the extract from George Eliot's Silas Marner below carefully before answering the questions.
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