What was Silas Marner's vocation?  

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Silas Marner is a linen weaver. He works out of his own cottage, as weavers did in the early years of the nineteenth century before textile weaving became mechanized and the work was done in big factories under arduous conditions. Silas has to spin flax fiber into thread and then weave the threads into linen. The fact that Silas Marner works at home enables him to adopt the little golden-haired girl named Eppie who wanders into his home one night after her mother dies in the snow. The identity of the child's father is unknown. Marner is able to look after the little girl personally even though she is very young when she first comes into his life. They develop a loving relationship, and she becomes a substitute for him in place of the hoard of gold he accumulated with years of work and had stolen from him on night by a drunken wastrel named Dunstan.

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