How does Dolly Winthrop influence Eppie and make raising the child easier for Silas in George Eliot's Silas Marner?

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Dolly Winthrop coaches Silas Marner on how to care for Eppie, and she strongly urges him to be sure the baby is baptized and receives religious instruction. Gently, she makes suggestions and allows Silas to care for the child on his own. In this way, Eppie will be his "little un" and no one else's.

Nevertheless, Dolly is adamant Silas have Eppie baptized, urging him to talk to Mr. Macey as soon as possible. She explains,

For if the child ever went anyways wrong, and you hadn't done your part by it, Master Marner—'noculation, and everything to save it from harm—it 'ud be a thorn i' your bed for ever o' this side the grave (Chapter XIII).

Silas Marner takes Dolly's advice to heart, and the baby is christened. To love another human being and share in her life provides Silas with a richness he never experienced with his gold. Further, as Eppie's mind grows, Silas's memory also grows.

One day, Dolly warns Silas not to spoil Eppie, but Silas cannot bring himself to make the "soft and safe places" of Eppie "tingle." Dolly suggests Silas put Eppie in the coal hole for a while. This form of punishment becomes ineffective because Eppie thinks the coal hole is fun. As a result, Silas uses patience instead of punishments to raise Eppie. Silas takes her with him when he delivers his linen, and he stops to chat with his customers, who discuss child-rearing with him. Eppie becomes all Silas's hope and joy, and, therefore, raising her is easy for him.

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