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Quotes

Quote #7

There was love between him and the child that blent them into one, and there was love between the child and the world—from men and women with parental looks and tones, to the red lady-birds and the round pebbles. (1.14.48)

Love is like a magic penny: if you give it away, you end up having more. Because Silas loves Eppie, he ends up loving everyone more. This idealistic vision of community hints at the novel's sentimental, allegorical side.

Quote #8

She does not like to be blameworthy even in small things: you see how neatly her prayer-book is folded in her spotted handkerchief. (2.16.4)

Eppie's major concern is to blend into her community, which makes sense for the child of a loner like Silas—kids always rebel. Wanting to be part of a community makes her reject Godfrey and Nancy's offer of adoption. She's belonging to her group, even if they're just poor villagers.

Quote #9

Silas did not highly enjoy smoking, and often wondered how his neighbours could be so fond of it; but a humble sort of acquiescence in what was held to be good, had become a strong habit of that new self which had been developed in him since he had found Eppie on his hearth. (2.16.30)

Silas smokes because his neighbors urge him to, even though he doesn't like it very much. Peer pressure: alive and well since the early 1800s. Only, peer pressure here is a force for good (even if smoking turned out to be not all that great for your health).

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