In Silas Marner, why might it be relevant that Silas's first thought is that the child he finds is his little sister?

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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When the sight of the golden-haired child conjures thoughts of his little sister in Silas Marner, long hibernating feelings are awakened in the character.  He recalls holding the baby as a boy himself, and, suddenly, the warmth of love that once was in Marner's life returns to him.

It stirred fibers that had never been moved in Raveloe—old quiverings of tenderness—old impressions of awe at the presentiment of some Power presiding over his life....

In a sense, with the appearance of the golden-haired babe, old feelings long dead are reawakened in Silas Marner. In addition, Marner's thoughts are no longer selfishly for his money; instead, they are focused upon his concern for this forlorn child, who may provide him some semblance of family and renew his belief that love rewards better than money.


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