How did the Stevens family act toward the Worthens in "Lyddie"?

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dymatsuoka eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Stevens family is kind and supportive towards the Worthens.  Quaker Stevens, who lives on the farm five miles down the road, is always willing to help Lyddie and her brother.  Lyddie, however, with a spirit that tends to be proud and stubborn, is envious of the family, and resentful that she is in a position where she needs their aid.  When Lyddie and Charles must sell off their livestock and go away to work, it is Quaker Stevens who buys their calf for the handsome sum of twenty-five dollars, even though as the owner of its sire, the calf is technically half his property already.  He chides himself for not having "come to call on (his) neighbors" when he learns that Lyddie and Charlie have been alone, invites them to share "a hearty noon dinner with the family", and arranges for one of his boys to give them a ride to town on the pretext that he needs something from the store there (Chapter 2).

When Lyddie's uncle determines to sell their farm, Charlie, knowing that Quaker Stevens will look out for their interests, asks him to take care of the sale.  Unable to convince the uncle to hold the farm for the children, Quaker Stevens puts down the purchase price himself.  His son Luke, who cares for Lyddie with a love that is pure and true, wants to earn the deed from his father and asks Lyddie to return as his wife (Chapter 18).  Although she is not ready to accept his proposal, Lyddie does finally recognize that his kindness is genuine, and foresees that one day, she "would love...the gentle...man that he would...become" (Chapter 23).