Silas moved out of Lantern Yard to the nearby town of Raveloe under very dire circumstances. They are all the most tragic because Silas Marner enjoyed a semi-normal life at his hometown, where he enjoyed close friendships such as that of his best friend, William Dane, and he was even engaged to a girl named Sarah.
Silas enjoyed a good reputation as part of a religious group to which he belonged. However, during one of the services, Silas suffered a major cataleptic fit that left many wondering. William Dane, it will be seen, was actually a very bad friend to Silas, was jealous of his relationship with Sarah, and smearead Silas's reputation after the fit.
It was at this point in their history that Silas's cataleptic fit occurred during the prayer-meeting; William... observed that, to him, this trance looked more like a visitation of Satan than a proof of divine favour, and exhorted his friend to see that he hid no accursed thing within his soul.
Silas's tendency to trust others and to doubt and second-guess himself are his essential flaws. They rendered him even more prone to the subtle attacks of William Dane. As a final act of treason, William set Silas up. He planted a knife that Silas owned near the deathbed of a church elder, and the money of the church was stolen, presumably by the man who left the knife exposed in the open.
The knife had been found in the bureau by the departed deacon's bedside—found in the place where the little bag of church money had lain, which the minister himself had seen the day before. Some hand had removed that bag; and whose hand could it be, if not that of the man to whom the knife belonged?
The result was that Silas, who was innocent, was found guilty. William Dane was who essentially led the efforts for this to occur, and he even took Sarah with him as well.
Now alone and with no foundation underneath, Silas had to figure out a way to start a new life. He was never really able to shake off the chaos from Lantern Yard. He became depressed, antisocial, and obsessed with gold. These were, however, the variables that eventually led him to become a better person; someone who needed a massive shake-up of a very sensitive nature to finally realize that there is much more to life than to seek love through others: self-love and self-respect are cultivated by loving others, not by trying to get others to love and respect us. Silas became a whole person the moment he learned how to love altruistically.