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What changes does Eppie make to Silas' life?

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What changes does Eppie make to Silas' life? In order to understand the changes that Eppie made to Silas' life we must first understand the kind of man he had become. We can do this by examining why and how he has been mentally hurt in his early life. Silas originally led a very religious life in the church, he was happy and contented. Silas had friends and a fianc�e whom he loved. This all led to disaster as his best friend William also loved his fianc�e. Silas has a disorder which causes him to have cataleptic fits at irregular times. One day Silas had a cataleptic fit while he is caring for the senior Deacon in the Church. William then betrayed Silas by coming into the room of the Deacon and stealing the Deacon's money by prising open the safe with Silas' knife. Then, when Silas comes out of his fit, he finds the Deacon dead. He calls for help. Later the Church discovers the money has gone and Silas' knife was used to open the safe. Silas is charged with robbery and humiliated in front of everyone, including his fianc�e, Sarah. 'The lots declare that Silas Marner was guilty' (9.13). Silas is cast out from the church and told never to return. He is aghast and feels that he has been let down by God, 'But you may prosper, for all that: there is no just God that governs the earth righteously, but a God of lies, that bears witness against the innocent' (2.14). ...read more.


One New Year's Eve, fifteen years since Silas had come to Raveloe; Silas was having one of his cataleptic fits while holding his door open to check that his money was not coming back to him. Silas then returned inside and was sitting on his chair when before his eyes appeared some golden locks. Silas first reaction was that his gold had returned to him as he was short sighted, then as he touched the golden locks he realised that they were locks of hair, a child's hair, which was sleeping right before him. This child changed the rest of his life in every possible way. The child was later christened Eppie. She was the love of Silas life and they could not be parted in any way. Silas had never had had the experience of a child (except for his baby sister who had died at an early age) and needed help with the bringing up of Eppie. He was helped by Mrs Dolly Winthrop 'I'll come and see to the child for you' (9.121) who was very helpful as she was always giving old clothes of her child's to Silas as she had no more use for them. This was very helpful to Silas, but he was also very protective of Eppie: he did not want her brought up thinking that he had done nothing for her welfare and he did want to learn how to care for her: 'But I want to do things for myself, else it may get fond o' somebody else, and not fond o' me. ...read more.


Silas rethinks these things because of Eppie. Children were treated as little adults in the eighteenth century but in the early nineteenth century all these things were changing as adults were coming to understand that children were the future and their future and so the better treated they were the happier every one would be. So they trusted children and did some things they would not normally have done, and such was the respect that Silas had for Eppie that he contemplated doing things just to please her and improve her life. After Silas' catastrophe at Lantern Yard, the first person that he trusted was Eppie and she started to persuade him that not everyone was a thief and that not everyone was trying to deceive and betray him. So he started to trust other people again and see them as friends not enemies. Silas has come from being unpopular and unhappy to really quite happy and enjoying life at the end because he has made his own way from being feeble and almost useless to a friendly face that people enjoy seeing and talking to, and he has made it all this way on his own. So Eppie changes Silas life in the most extraordinary ways that no normal human being could do, only a child's long-term influence on a lonely old man can do. For something to change in you, you must believe in that thing and they will happen with out you even knowing it. Jamie Bromfield 05/02/04 ...read more.

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