Silas Marner Questions and Answers
by George Eliot

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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...

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