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Marner is the quintessential miser in English literature, collecting and hoarding the gold he earns at his loom. In the course of the novel his gold is stolen. Some time later, he finds a baby girl, Eppie, asleep at his hearth. His love for this golden-haired foundling child-who, in the novel's most famous symbol, replaces Marner's beloved gold pieces in his affection-facilitates his return to faith and humanity. His love for the child touches his true spirit underneath all his greed and selfishness.