Study Guide

Silas Marner Chapter 5

By George Eliot

Chapter 5

  • Here comes Silas. He was, in fact, not dead, but only a hundred yards away from the cottage while Dunstan was making off with his life's savings.
  • He was out buying thread and didn't lock the door because the lock-string was currently holding his sausage up to cook. Since nothing has happened to his money for fifteen years, he feels pretty secure about his stash. That nice hot sausage cooking on the fire makes him feel even more complacent than usual. Plus, he figured that no thief was going to be out on such a gloomy night. (Maybe invest in a good deadbolt, next time?)
  • Everything looks good when he gets back. As he's waiting for his sausage to cook, he goes to pull out his gold for his nightly love fest—but it's gone.
  • Wait, what?
  • Shaking, he looks again in the hole and frantically searches the cottage for the gold. He screams in despair.
  • And then—why not?—he starts to weave.
  • He tries to figure out who could have taken is money: a thief? A "cruel power" that just really loved ruining his life? (1.5.6). It must have been a robber: maybe Jem Rodney, the town deadbeat. Yep, definitely Jem Rodney.
  • Silas runs out of the cottage toward the village.
  • Usually, the Rainbow's parlor is full of Raveloe's powers that be, while the lesser citizens hang out in the kitchen. Tonight only the kitchen is full—all the fancy folk are at Mrs. Osgood's birthday party.