We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
Silas Marner

Silas Marner


by George Eliot

Analysis: Allusions

When authors refer to other great works, people, and events, it’s usually not accidental. Put on your super-sleuth hat and figure out why.

Literary and Philosophical References

  • Lethe (1.2.1), a river of the underworld in Greek mythology, associated with sleep
  • Mant's Bible (2.17.22), an annotated and illustrated version of the Bible published in 1817
  • "beauty born of murmuring sound" (2.19.1), William Wordsworth from the poem "Three Years She Grew…," stanza 5 

Biblical References

  • David and Jonathan (1.1.7), Biblical best friends
  • "Calling and election sure" (1.1.7), 2 Peter 1:10
  • "Not in the body, but out of the body" (1.1.9), 2 Corinthians 12:2-3
  • "Like demons who had found in him a ready-garnished home" (1.3.39), Luke 11:24-25
  • The psalm (1.6.19), Psalm 106:3
  • "watch for the morning" (1.7.31), Psalm 130:6
  • The Athanasian Creed (1.10.56), a long statement of Anglican belief
  • Hephzibah (1.14.27), Isaiah 62:4
  • The city of destruction (1.14.50), Sodom
  • "mine own fami'ar friend" (2.16.35), Psalm 41:9

Historical References

  • King George III (1.3.3, 1.11.31)

Pop Culture References

  • "the flaxen-headed ploughboy" (1.11.52, 54), a song written by John O'Keefe for William Shield's ballad opera The Farmer
  • Shield's ballad opera The Farmer
  • "Sir Roger de Coverley" (1.11.58) a popular country dance

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...