This GCSE English Literature quiz challenges you on themes in George Eliot's Silas Marner. Themes in a work of literature can be very obvious or very subtle. Often the various themes intertwine and comment upon one another. Theme is communicated through the concepts and ideas of the text, connecting setting, character, plot and dialogue. Pay close attention to the related ideas you detect and try to follow the development of a theme over the course of a text. When writing about themes, check whether your final thoughts as you reach the end of the text match those you had at the beginning. Have your ideas changed? If so, try to pinpoint when and where your views on a key theme began to change.
Authors communicate meaning to readers through the themes with which they engage in the text.
Ideally, issues raised in the text will prompt readers to reconsider their own beliefs or ways of looking at the world. If a text can force you to think and maybe even change your mind, then the author has successfully encouraged you to engage with one or more of its themes. You might notice that you disagree strongly with other readers (or even your teacher), rather than sharing the same views on an issue. This is because your response to a text will be deeply personal, which is inevitable when you bring your own thoughts, beliefs and experiences into consideration of the text.
George Eliot's Silas Marner deals with themes of wealth, isolation, secrets, community, faith, family, and home. These themes are interrelated, each touching upon the lives of various characters in different ways. Most of these themes are easily apparent and often stated outright by the narrator; others reveal themselves through subtext.
Read the questions below and test your knowledge of the themes of Silas Marner by George Eliot.