The Mill On The Floss Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Mill On The Floss

Maggie Tulliver must find a future in the small community where her family disgraced itself. Maggie Tulliver is the youngest daughter of a river mill operator and his wife. She is close to her parents but especially loves her older brother Tom. Mr. Tulliver decides to invest in Tom's education, rather than raising him to take over the mill. This decision is controversial within the extended family. Mr. Tulliver decides to pay some money her borrowed from his inlaws so they won't feel they have a say in Tom's future. Tom is taken into a school and Maggie visits him whenever she can. Here she meets Phillip, son of a local lawyer who is engaging her father in an extended lawsuit over the use of the river upon which his mill operates. When Mr. Tulliver loses the lawsuit he has no money left, having also furnished his son's education. Tom has the return to support his mother, sister, and newly ailing father. Phillip's father decides to further humiliate Mr. Tulliver by keeping him on as manager of the mill her no longer owns.
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In the months that follow Maggie enters a phase of religious earnestness. She meets Phillip again though and begins seeing him in secret. Their love blossoms but she fears she cannot be with him because of her father's hatred of his father. Later, Mr. Tulliver attacks the lawyer when he chances to meet him on the road. The exertion is too much for Tulliver, and he dies the following day.
Maggie returns years later. She visits her cousin Lucy and her fiance Stephen. She also sees Phillip but, even as the two are getting reacquainted, she and Stephen begin falling for one another. Phillip asks her to marry him. She accepts buy avoids a meeting with him, sneaking off instead with Stephen. She decides however to return to Phillip, but her hesitation earns her resentment from the community. When she finally makes up with Phillip, rains hit the town, starting a flood. The river floods first and Maggie finds a boat to save her brother Tom who is in the mill. The brother and sister drown together in the river.
Best part of story, including ending: The story had real human feeling in it. It felt like something that would actually happen and reminded me of things I have felt before.

Best scene in story: It is pathetic when Mr. Tulliver attacks Phillip's father. He can't win but his desperate anger is a relief after chapters and chapters of humiliation.

Opinion about the main character: I liked Maggie. She's kind of simple and quiet for a protagonist, very normal. She seems like someone I would like in real life. She just got caught up in complicated situations.

The review of this Book prepared by Andrew Black a Level 5 American Goldfinch scholar

The Mill on the Floss is a story about a brother and a sister growing up in England in a small village. The brother's name is Tom whose younger sister is named Maggie. Their family owns a mill on a floss, which has been in the family for generations past.
Their father loses a lawsuit to a neighbor who has a crippled, but pleasant son. In order to pay for the money that the father lost, he must give the mill to the lawyer. The father soon is on his deathbed after being depressed and makes his son, Tom, swear that he will get the mill back and never like or talk to the lawyer or his son. Tom agrees.
Maggie becomes to be best friends with the lawyer's son, Philip. They play together and when Tom finds out, he is enraged and refuses to speak to Maggie unless she promises never to speak to Philip again without Tom knowing and approving of it. Maggie promises.
Maggie goes to her cousin and friend Lucy's house. Maggie falls in love with Lucy's fiancée, Steven. Maggie feels guilty for liking Steven so she makes him hate her.
Tom finds out that Maggie liked Steven so he tells Lucy. Maggie asks Lucy to forgive he and she does.
Tom finally gets enough money to buy the mill which he does. But a flood was coming and the mill was in its path. Tom forgets about being angry at Maggie and they both ride a lifeboat together to go and save their cousin Lucy and their mother. On the way, they crash into a branch and they drown together.
The review of this Book prepared by alisa

Maggie Tulliver is a head strong young woman who falls in love with her cousin's betrothed. The choices she must make are painful ones, as either way she stands to lose - either the man she loves or the respect of her friends and family. The book also contains a great deal of insight into the life of the Tulliver family, the education system at the time and society in general. It is a rich and detailed text
The review of this Book prepared by Bryn Pearson

Chapter Analysis of The Mill On The Floss

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Plot & Themes

Tone of book?    -   very sensitive (sigh) Time/era of story    -   1900-1920's Romance/Romance Problems    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Unmarried Love Triangle?    -   Yes Singles Fooling Around    -   One Woman Two Men

Main Character

Gender    -   Female Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Nationality    -   British


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   2 () United States    -   Yes Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   England/UK

Writing Style

Weird Victorian/Shakespearean English?    -   Yes Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

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