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I need help describing Nancy’s personality and approach to life in Silas Marner. 

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naimokhtar | eNoter

Posted June 2, 2013 at 2:56 AM via web

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  • I need help describing Nancy’s personality and approach to life in Silas Marner

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 5, 2013 at 1:58 PM (Answer #1)

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The character of Nancy Lammeter in Silas Marner is a product of her time and place. Not the brightest nor most educated woman, Nancy follows the dictum of life that her father has taught her of living virtuously, and to feel proud of her roots. In fact, Nancy is quite aware that she is the typical country girl that comes from a wealthy yet not necessarily sophisticated family. Even her hands are described as coarse since they show

the traces of butter-making, cheese-crushing, and even still coarser work

There are several flaws in Nancy Lammeter's character. First, she contradicts herself a lot. While she attempts to be respectful, righteous and virtuous, she does admit to have a liking for Godfrey Cass. Yet, he is a man with a very shady past who is battling a lot of personal weaknesses.

She also contradicts the manner in which she treats Godfrey. She absolutely refuses to marry him and, yet, she gets upset if he does not pay her attention.

We find that Nancy exhibits strange behaviors, from being watchful of omens (denoting superstition), to having peculiar ideas about how she and sister Priscilla should dress and act in front of people. On and all, she represents the typical woman who learns about herself as she grows and develops.

Nancy's life becomes organized and more purposeful after marrying Godfrey, the very man she said she would never marry. We know that she is quite loving and obedient to him. She finds a sense of peace and tranquility and she is happy to continue to live this way until the end.

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