What are Eppie's plans for the future in Silas Marner?

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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It is towards the end of Chapter 16, after a description of the massive changes that have taken place between the end of Book I of the novel and the beginning of Book II, that we are given an indication of Eppie's plans whilst she is sitting outside with Silas Marner and discussing the future. It is Eppie who brings up the topic of marriage and tells Silas that Aaron wants to marry her. She makes it clear that he is determined to not take Eppie away from Silas, and that they would live altogether and he would be a good son for Silas. However, when Silas asks Eppie what she would like, she expresses that what she wants above all is for things to stay the same:

"But I don't want any change," said Eppie. "I should like to go on a long, long while, just as we are. Only Aaron does want a change; and he made me cry a bit--only a bit--because he said I didn't care for him, for if I cared for him I should want to be married, as he did."

Silas tries to tell her the truth; that change will come whether we like it or not, and then determines to speak to Dolly Winthrop about this plan and gain her advice.

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