Expert Answers
teachsuccess eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the story, Silas spends most of his initial time in Raveloe weaving. In exile from his home and excommunicated from his church community, Silas diligently throws himself into his work. He makes a lot of money from weaving, but he doesn't really care about the income as much as he cares about forgetting his painful past.

Although the business of weaving takes up most of his time, Silas finds room to complete the numerous and monotonous daily chores of his household. He makes his own meals and fetches his own water from the well. At night, he brings out all the gold and silver he has earned from his weaving and counts it. Initially, Silas deposits his earnings in an iron pot. However, as his hoard of earnings grows, he eventually has to fashion two thick, leather bags to hold his money.

Silas doesn't do much else in his early days in Raveloe aside from weaving and counting his hoard of wealth. However, he does do one thing that is significant: he helps Sally Oates, a woman who is suffering from heart disease and dropsy, by giving her a preparation of foxglove to ease her physical pain. After he does this, Silas becomes highly sought after by other sick villagers and mothers who wish him to cure their children of all manner of ills. Eventually, however, the short period of bustling activity overwhelms Silas, and he stops answering every call for help. This irritates the villagers, who later begin accusing Silas of every misfortune that befalls them.

Initially hopeful that his aid to Sally Oates would hasten his initiation and integration into Raveloe society, Silas now finds himself beset with false accusations. This alienates him from the rest of his neighbors, and the text tells us that, after this, Silas does nothing more than to weave and count his money for the next fifteen years of his life in Raveloe.

M.P. Ossa eNotes educator| Certified Educator


Silas spends his time weaving. It is not only his vocation, but also the occupation that mostly keeps his mind busy. He has gone through enough sadness and pain to care about people, and he has halfway lost every interest to establish any human connection with any of the inhabitants of Raveloe. 

Apparently the sound of the loom and the time that he spends in every work that he is assigned to produce leaves him with a day well-spent with a beautiful product to boot. It is a lonely profession in which only one person is needed to perform. And, in matching, Silas is a lonely man.