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Quotes

Quote #10

For it would not have been possible for the Raveloe mind, without a peculiar revelation, to know that a clergyman should be a pale-faced memento of solemnities, instead of a reasonably faulty man, whose exclusive authority to read prayers and preach, to christen, marry, and bury you, necessarily co-existed with the right to sell you the ground to be buried in, and to take tithe in kind. (1.11.61)

The Raveloe people expect their priests to be ordinary, too. Unlike angry Calvinist preachers going on and on about sin and salvation, and unlike celibate Catholic priests who keep apart from daily life, Anglican priests are part of the community, people basically like themselves—bad habits, annoying character traits, and all.

Quote #11

On this occasion Silas, making himself as clean and tidy as he could, appeared for the first time within the church, and shared in the observances held sacred by his neighbours. He was quite unable, by means of anything he heard or saw, to identify the Raveloe religion with his old faith; if he could at any time in his previous life have done so, it must have been by the aid of a strong feeling ready to vibrate with sympathy, rather than by a comparison of phrases and ideas[.] (1.14.33)

Silas goes to church for the first time after he adopts Eppie, but it doesn't mean anything to him beyond the experience of being with his neighbors. It's so different that it might as well be a mosque or a synagogue; he just likes being with people again.

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