Silas Marner: Novel Summary: Chapter 14

Chapter fourteen begins the narrative of Silas’s new life with the child, whom he decides to name Eppie. Although some of the townspeople think it’s rather odd that a tramp like Silas should raise the toddler, no one prevents the weaver from keeping her, seeing his devotion to her already in his eyes. Whenever Silas is questioned about the situation, he repeats the colloquial phrase, “The money’s gone I don’t know where, and this is come from I don’t know where.”
Soon Dolly Winthrop becomes Silas’s child-raising helper and eventual godmother to Eppie. Dolly and her son, Aaron, become the closest contact Silas has with the outside world. Silas’s eyes seem to open more widely with each passing day. The sick obsession he formerly had with his gold has now been replaced with the healthy obsession for his new daughter, Eppie. Eliot narrates, “Unlike the gold which needed nothing, and must be worshiped in close-locked solitude— which was hidden away from the daylight, was deaf to the song of birds, and started to no human tones— Eppie was a creature of endless claims and ever-growing desires, seeking and loving sunshine, and living sounds, and living movements; making trial of everything, with trust in new joy, and stirring the human kindness in all eyes that looked on her.” She was “warming him into joy because she had joy.”
Eventually Silas and Eppie even attend church in Raveloe, something Silas had never had any interest in before, following the bad experience he had with religion in Lantern’s Yard. Soon Eppie is baptized.
Eliot narrates, “As the child’s mind was growing into knowledge, his mind was growing into memory: as her life unfolded, his soul, long stupefied in a cold narrow prison, was unfolding too, and trembling gradually into full consciousness.”