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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Historical References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

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