In Silas Marner, why do people regard weavers with suspicion? 

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In the nineteenth century in England, often weavers were strangers from other towns who came to live in villages like Raveloe; as such, they possessed no connection to the village, their parentage was unknown, and they were alienated by their jobs which required them to live quiet lives in their homes: "no one knew where these wandering men had their homes or their origins." Furthermore, these strange, lonely men appeared only when they were carrying "a mysterious burden...in a heavy bag". Nor, do they resemble the men of Raveloe; for, they are pale and smaller than the farmers and their sons. Thus, weavers such as Silas Marner are regarded with suspicion by the rustics of the village, who perceive them as mysterious and suspicious."

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