Silas Marner

by: George Eliot

Nancy Lammeter

Nancy is the pretty, caring, and stubborn young lady whom Godfrey pursues and then marries. Like Godfrey, Nancy comes from a family that is wealthy by Raveloe standards. However, her father, unlike Squire Cass, is a man who values moral rectitude, thrift, and hard work. Nancy has inherited these strict values and looks disapprovingly on what she sees as Godfrey’s weakness of character. She is, however, exhilarated by Godfrey’s attention, in part because of the status he embodies.

Nancy lives her life according to an inflexible code of behavior and belief. She seems to have already decided how she feels about every question that might come up in her life, not necessarily on the basis of any reason or thought, but simply because anything else would represent a sort of weakness in her own eyes. When Nancy is younger, this “code” of hers demands that she and her sister dress alike on formal occasions. When she is older, Nancy’s code forbids her to adopt a child, as in her mind such an action represents a defiance of God’s plan. Nancy is neither well educated nor particularly curious, and her code marks her as just as much a product of Raveloe’s isolation and rusticity as Dolly Winthrop. Nancy is, however, a genuinely kind and caring person, as evidenced by her forgiveness of Godfrey after his confession.