In Silas Marner, how does life change for Silas because of Eppie?

In Silas Marner, life changes for Silas because of Eppie due to the deep love he feels for her. Eppie humanizes Silas and brings him out of his shell. Thanks to Eppie, Silas no longer remains trapped in his own little world. And it is because of her that he develops emotional intelligence, which reacquaints him with the values of faith, family, and community.

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Silas Marner begins with a quotation from Wordsworth as the epigraph:

A child, more than all other gifts
That earth can offer to declining man,
Brings hope with it, and forward-looking thoughts.

This is a very good encapsulation of the effect Eppie has on Silas Marner's life. Like many misers, he had become a slave to his hoarded gold, working longer and longer hours to add to the fortune which was his only source of pleasure. When this gold was stolen, however, he felt no sense of liberation—only of loss, until the dead gold was replaced with a living, golden-haired child. Whereas the gold had kept him continually at work,

Eppie called him away from his weaving, and made him think all its pauses a holiday, reawakening his senses with her fresh life, even to the old winter-flies that came crawling forth in the early spring sunshine, and warming him into joy because she had joy.

Eppie redirects Silas's attention outwards. Instead of brooding on his wrongs or gloating over his gold, he forgets himself in his appreciation of the world around him, which now seems more wonderful because he has someone with whom to share it.

The relationship between Silas and Eppie is quite different from that of a normal parent and child, a fact which is demonstrated by Silas's forlorn and unwilling efforts to punish Eppie for disobedience. He only does this at all because Dolly Winthrop says that he should and quickly desists when he realizes that it is only a punishment if it hurts Eppie, which he could not bear to do. George Eliot even compares Eppie with an angel who leads Silas "towards a calm and bright land" from which he no longer looks backwards.

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It's no exaggeration to say that Eppie completely transforms Silas Marner's life—and for the better. Before she came into his life, Silas was a miserable, solitary man with a deep-seated resentment toward society. This was due to the appalling way he was treated back in Lantern Yard. As a result, Silas is understandably afraid to establish any kind of connection with the people of Raveloe, in case they subject him to similar unfair treatment.

That Silas is eventually able to become a respected member of the local community is due in no small part to little Eppie. As she is an innocent young child, Silas can place his trust in her in a way that would be unthinkable with any adult. Gradually, her love, devotion, and winning personality bring Silas out of his shell, giving him the confidence to step outside the little cocoon he's created for himself as protection against a harsh, unforgiving world.

In that sense, Eppie humanizes Silas; her love reestablishes the connection between Silas and human society that was lost when he was forced to leave Lantern Yard under a cloud. With Eppie in his life, Silas has developed as a rounded personality, ready and willing to take his place as a valued member of the local community.

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Eppie transforms the life of Silas Marner, bringing meaning and love into an existence devoid of human love or friendship.

George Eliot's Silas Marner is a story of loss, alienation, and redemption. Having lost his friend, his fiancée, and his reputation in Lantern's Yard, Silas Marner has come to Raveloe and lived as an alienated weaver who has worked solely for the accumulation of gold. Marner's redemption is achieved by his heart's having been re-opened by the child he finds.

The gold had kept his thoughts in an ever-repeated circle, leading to nothing beyond itself; but Eppie was an object compacted of changes and hopes that forced his thoughts onward, and carried them far away from their old eager pacing toward the same blank limit--carried them away to the new things that would come with the coming years....

When all that Silas worked for was his gold, he was compelled to a rigid cycle of work: weaving was the only thing that brought him gold. But when Eppie calls him from his work, he does not feel compelled to return to it for reward. Instead, the pauses from work are a holiday, an entry into a fresh new life that is warmed with the joy of loving another human creature. Caring for Eppie rewards him with love and happiness. With Eppie as his child, his life has new meaning since meaning depends upon sharing.

Eppie brings joy, meaning, love, and happiness to the life of Silas Marner, thus transforming his life from one of solitary loneliness and alienation from the community. With Eppie as his little daughter, Silas is no longer perceived as a strange recluse. He becomes a part of the community of Raveloe, having accepted help as he began caring for the orphaned baby he names Hephzibah.

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Silas Marner's life, prior to Eppie was pretty much self-centered. He had suffered so much trauma and deceit in his former town of Lantern Yard that he chose to implode and remain isolated, caring only for making money and figuring out how to keep it away from everyone else.  Isolation made Silas quite bitter and had him lose touch with reality: The reality that humans are meant to interconnect, interact, and sometimes depend on each other.

When Silas suffered the major flop of having all of his gold stolen, he went into a frenzy that reminds one of his awful situation at Lantern Yard prior to moving to Raveloe. However, in one of those moments where he felt that life was out of his control, he finds the baby Eppie by the fire of his cottage, after she crawled away from his dead mother.  Caring for Eppie, with her gold locks, was to Silas a sign from heaven that, maybe if he cared for this gold-haired child, his own gold will return to him in due time. Yet, the relationship grew strong, and made Silas find something to care about . In fact, Eppie did not want to leave Silas's side and Silas was perfectly comfortable taking care of her.

Eppie gave him a new reason to live. She was the new motivation for his existence and he was a new man thanks to Eppie.

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