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It is in Chapter 14 that we are given an insight into the thoughts of the general populace of Raveloe, and they are keen to ask exactly the same question that you have. Nobody knows how precisely a man used to his own solitude is going to be able suddenly to know how to care for a two year old girl, and thus again, Silas finds himself the topic of much gossip and rumour. However, there are a few women in the village who offer more practical help, and the principal character who helps out is called Dolly Winthrop, whom Silas is quick to call on:
Among the notable mothers, Dolly Winthrop was the one whose neighbourly offices were the most acceptable to Marner, for they were rendered without any show of bustling instruction. Silas had shown her the half-guinea given to him by Godfrey, and had asked her what he should do about getting some clothes for the child.
Thus, from the start, women such as Dolly Winthrop are able to offer their practical advice and guidance to Silas about how to bring up children and care for all of their needs.
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