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Quotes

Quote #1

The white-washed walls; the little pews where well-known figures entered with a subdued rustling, and where first one well-known voice and then another, pitched in a peculiar key of petition, uttered phrases at once occult and familiar, like the amulet worn on the heart; the pulpit where the minister delivered unquestioned doctrine, and swayed to and fro, and handled the book in a long-accustomed manner; the very pauses between the couplets of the hymn, as it was given out, and the recurrent swell of voices in song: these things had been the channel of divine influences to Marner—they were the fostering home of his religious emotions—they were Christianity and God's kingdom upon earth. (1.2.1)

Silas loves his church because it's full of familiar people and voices. It's just like home to him, if home were a fire-and-brimstone Calvinist church. In any case, what this passage suggests is that religion is supported by the structure of home. Without home, religious faith collapses.

Quote #2

The fading grey light fell dimly on the walls decorated with guns, whips, and foxes' brushes, on coats and hats flung on the chairs, on tankards sending forth a scent of flat ale, and on a half-choked fire, with pipes propped up in the chimney-corners: signs of a domestic life destitute of any hallowing charm (1.3.4)

This first view of the Red House hints at what home looks like without women: it's all guns, beer, and disorder. The Red House doesn't need "hallowing charm"; it needs a woman's touch.

Quote #3

The disinherited son of a small squire, equally disinclined to dig and to beg, was almost as helpless as an uprooted tree, which, by the favour of earth and sky, has grown to a handsome bulk on the spot where it first shot upward. (1.3.25)

Godfrey doesn't want to tell his father about his secret marriage, because he's afraid of being disinherited. This metaphor, comparing a disinherited son to an uprooted tree, emphasizes the importance of place and home. Godfrey can't just pick up and move. He's tied to his father's land—and, let's be honest, his father's pocketbook.

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