What kind of person has Eppie grown to be in Silas Marner? Cite evidence from the novel.

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

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Being brought up by a single weaver living by himself on the outskirts of the village and with no experience of bringing up children must have been an interesting experience for Eppie, however when we are presented with the grown-up Eppie of Book II of this great novel, it is clear that Silas Marner, aided by Dolly Winthrop perhaps, has done a good job at bringing her up. Not only does Chapter 16 show that she is now a beautiful young woman, but that she is very selfless and attentive to the needs of her father, Silas, as shown by her quickness in clearing away the dinner things so that Silas can have his smoke. However, the text also gives us more information as to the kind of woman she now is:

The tender and peculiar love with which Silas had reared her in almost inseparable companionship with himself, aided by the seclusion of their dwelling, had preserved her from the lowering influences of the village talk and habits, and had kept her mind in that freshness which is sometimes falsely supposed to be an invariable attribute of rusticity. Perfect love has a breath of poetry which can exalt the relations of the least-instructed human beings; and this breath of poetry had surrounded Eppie from the time when she had followed the bright gleam that beckoned her to Silas's hearth: so that it is not surprising if, in other things besides her delicate prettiness, she was not quite a common village maiden, but had a touch of refinement and fervour which came from no other teaching than that of tenderly-nurtured unvitiated feeling.

So, in addition to her great beauty, Eppie's curious care arrangements have made her grow up not as "rustic" as her peers would be, but being somewhat more "refined."

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