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The rejuvenating power of "pure, natural human relationships": Silas Marner's withered soul, which had shrunken into the miserly accumulation of gold, is redeemed and restored to humanity and acceptance by his love and kindness for an orphaned child.
Sin has its retribution, goodness its reward: Godfrey had deceived Nancy by hiding the truth from her and had shirked his responsibility as a father. He had wanted to "pass for childless once" and now retribution ordains for him to "pass for childless" against his wish. In addition, Dunstan robs Silas' money, but cannot live to enjoy it. Dunstan, the "spiteful, jeering fellow" who took great delight in the misfortune of others, is swallowed in a bog and his skeletal remnants are discovered sixteen years after his death. On the other hand, Silas is brought to happiness due to the kindness he showed towards an abandoned child.
The simple tale has a mood filled with tenderness of fancy and delicacy of pathos, which is relieved by bright-strokes of humor.