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The Rise of Silas Lapham

William Dean Howells

Character Analysis Nanny

The Corey's youngest child, Nanny has read a great many novels with a keen sense of their inaccuracy as representations of life and has seen a great deal of life with a sad regret for its difference from fiction. She re-titles the romantic novel Tears, Idle Tears, "Slop, Silly Slop," Although she would prefer to be romantic, Nanny is more realistic than her mother and sister. She sees the changes that might be possible in Penelope's social education during her stay in Mexico. "At that distance we can correspond," she says, knowing they could not communicate if they were closer.