The Mill On The Floss Presentazione Sonia E Giorgia


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The Mill On The Floss Presentazione Sonia E Giorgia

  1. 1. The Mill On The Floss George Eliot
  2. 2. Key Facts <ul><li>full title ·  The Mill on the Floss </li></ul><ul><li>author ·  George Eliot (pseudonym for Marian Evans) </li></ul><ul><li>type of work ·  Novel </li></ul><ul><li>genre ·  Victorian novel, tragedy </li></ul><ul><li>language ·  English </li></ul><ul><li>time and place written ·  Richmond and Wandsworth in England, 1859–1860 </li></ul><ul><li>date of first publication ·  1860 </li></ul><ul><li>publisher ·  Blackwood and Sons </li></ul><ul><li>narrator ·  The unnamed narrator was alive for Maggie Tulliver's life and is narrating the events many years later. </li></ul><ul><li>point of view ·  The narrator speaks in the first person at selective points of narration but for all else, narrates as though third-person omniscient. </li></ul><ul><li>tone ·  The tone can vary from lightly satiric when dealing with lesser characters, to elegiac or only slightly ironic when dealing with main characters. </li></ul><ul><li>tense ·  Past </li></ul><ul><li>setting (time) ·  1829–1839 </li></ul><ul><li>setting (place) ·  St. Ogg's in English midlands (real life model for the Floss was the Trent in Lincolnshire </li></ul><ul><li>protagonist ·  Maggie Tulliver </li></ul><ul><li>major conflict ·  Maggie must choose between her inner desire toward passion and sensuous life and her impulse towards moral responsibility and the need for her brother's approval and love. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>rising action ·  Incurious Tom is sent to school, while Maggie is held &quot;uncanny&quot; for her intelligence. Mr. Tulliver's pride and inability to adapt to the changing economic world causes him to lose his property in a lawsuit against Lawyer Wakem and eventually die as the result of his fury toward Wakem. To Tom's dismay, Maggie becomes secretly close to Wakem's sensitive crippled son, Philip. </li></ul><ul><li>climax ·  At the age of nineteen, Maggie visits her cousin Lucy and becomes hopelessly attracted to Lucy's wealthy and polished suitor, Stephen Guest, and he to her. Stephen and Maggie are inadvertently left to themselves for a boatride. Stephen rows them further down river than planned and tries to convince Maggie to elope with him. </li></ul><ul><li>falling action ·  Maggie parts with Stephen, arguing that they each cannot ignore the claims that Lucy and Philip have on them. Maggie returns to St. Ogg's several days later and is met with repudiation from the entire town and from Tom. Philip and Lucy contact Maggie and forgive her. The Floss floods, and Maggie seizes a boat and rows to the Mill to save Tom. Their boat is capsized by floating machinery, Tom and Maggie drown in each other's arms. </li></ul><ul><li>themes ·  The claim of the past upon present identity; The effect of society upon the individual; The importance of sympathy; Practical knowledge versus bookish knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>motifs ·  The disparity between the Dodsons and the Tullivers; Music; Animal imagery; Dark and light women </li></ul><ul><li>symbols ·  The Floss; St. Ogg; Maggie's eyes </li></ul>
  4. 4. °Biography° <ul><li>Mary Anne Evans better known by her “ pen name ” George Eliot , was an English novelist. She was one of the leading writers of the Victorian age. She used a male pen name, she said, to ensure that her works were taken seriously. Female authors were published under their own names, but Eliot wanted to ensure that she was not seen as merely a writer of romances. </li></ul><ul><li>She was born in 1819 on a farm in Warwick-Shire, were her father worked.She grew up in the beautiful countryside that she was later to describe in her novels. In 1840 she moved to the town of Cooventry, where she met with groups of intellectuals end free-thinkers.These </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>These contacts, togheter with her own studies in religion and philosophy, caused her to abandon her Evangelical beliefs.In 1841 she began to read rationalist works, which influenced her to rebel against dogmatic religion, and she remained a rationalist throughout her life.When she moved to London in 1851 and she met many important man of letters, she fell in love with one of them George Henry Lewes. Her meeting with him, a philosopher, scientist, and critic, was one of the most significant events of her life. Lewes, though, was married with three children and couldn’t get a divorce. Openly defying convention and public opinion the two went to live together and they always regarded themselves as married.When George Lewes died, she married a man some twenty years younger that she was. These two events, rapresented for her a great scandal for the society where she lived in. </li></ul><ul><li>She died eighth months after her marriage, in december 1880. </li></ul><ul><li>Although in terms opf general popularity George Eliot was regarded by her conteporaries as inferior to Dickens, she was also considered something more then a “ mere novelist ”.She was considered as a great teacher of moral law similar only Wordsworth. She now occupies a central position with Dickens and she was compared to her great European contemporarie Gustave Flaubert and Lev Tolstoj. </li></ul><ul><li>George Eliot’s most famous novel is considered “The Mill on the Floss”. </li></ul>
  6. 6. °Plot° <ul><li>The Mill on the Floss is George Eliot’s masterpiece. </li></ul><ul><li>The story, set in the English Midlands, is centred on the lives of a brother and sister, Tom and Maggie;despite their deep reciprocal affection, they cannot understand each until their tragic end. </li></ul><ul><li>Maggie Tulliver holds the central role in the book, as both her relationship with her older brother Tom, and her romantic relationships with Philip Wakem, a hunchbacked, and with Stephen Guest, a vivacious young socialite in St. Oggs and engaged of Maggie’s cousin Lucy Deane. </li></ul><ul><li>Tom and Maggie are the doughter and the son of the miller of Devecote Mill, on the River Floss. She is an intelligent and sensitive young girl, much more than the rest of her family. </li></ul><ul><li>Her brother Tom, whom she adores with all her heart and tries to please in every possible way,is on the contrary a rather dull an unimaginative boy:he is practical, decided, firm in his beliefs. </li></ul><ul><li>The first part of the book is a brilliant study of provincial life shown with typical humour, and leads up to the financial ruin of Mr Tulliver. </li></ul><ul><li>The second part of the novel, deals with Maggie’s unfortunate loves: first for Philip Wakem, then for the educated and good-looking Stephen Guest. During a boat excursion Maggie and Stephen remain alone for a few days, partly due to chance but partly because of a Stephen’s design. This is enough to cause great scandal and to bring ruin on the girl. </li></ul>
  7. 7. °Analysis° _Mary Ann Evans in the Mirror_ <ul><li>The Mill on the Floss, published in 1860, is the most autobioghaphical Eliot’s work: is based partially on Eliot’s own experiences with her family and her brother Isaac, who was three years older than Eliot. Like Maggie, Eliot was disorderly and energetic and did not fit traditional models of feminine beauty or behavior, causing her family a great deal of consternation. Eliot's father, like Mr. Tulliver in the novel, was a businessman who had married a woman from a higher social class. By the time Eliot published The Mill on the Floss , she had gained considerable notoriety as an &quot;immoral woman&quot; because she was living with the writer George Henry Lewes, who was married, though separated from his wife. Social disapproval of her actions spilled over into commentary on the novel, and it was scathingly criticized because it did not present a clear drama of right and wrong.As Maggie Tulliver approaches adulthood, her spirited temperament brings her into conflict with her family, her community, and her much loved brother Tom. Still more painfully, she finds her own nature divided between the claims of moral responsability and her passionate hunger for self-fulfillment. She was the first English novelist to perceive that there is a direct relation between a person’s character and her environment,but she insisted that she couuld and should make moral choices, that she still had a certain measure of free will in spite of all conditioning. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Main Characters: <ul><li>Maggie Tulliver - young female protagonist </li></ul><ul><li>Tom Tulliver - Maggie's brother </li></ul><ul><li>Phillip Wakem - hunchbacked classmate of Tom, and friend/suitor to Maggie </li></ul><ul><li>Mr Tulliver - Maggie and Tom's father, owner of the Mill </li></ul><ul><li>Stephen Guest - affluent suitor to Maggie </li></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Jeremy Tulliver  -  Maggie Tulliver's father. Mr. Tulliver works the mill on the Floss river. </li></ul><ul><li>Mr. Tulliver is fond of Maggie, especially her cleverness, and he often takes her side in family quarrels. </li></ul><ul><li>Tulliver is an affectionate man, who is soft with his daughter, wife, and sister, yet his bitterness toward Mr. Wakem consumes and changes. </li></ul><ul><li>Philip Wakem  -  The sensitive and intelligent son of Lawyer Wakem. </li></ul><ul><li>Philip has had a hunched back since birth. </li></ul><ul><li>Of small stature and with a pale face, Philip is often described as &quot;womanly.&quot; Philip's love of art, music, and knowledge go some way toward counteracting the severe sadness he feels about his deformity. </li></ul><ul><li>Philip first meets Maggie when he is at school with Tom. </li></ul><ul><li>He falls in love with her the year that they meet in secret during Maggie's father's bankruptcy. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Elizabeth Tulliver  -  Maggie Tulliver's mother. </li></ul><ul><li>Mrs. Tulliver is a dull-witted, stout, blond woman. </li></ul><ul><li>Mrs. Tulliver's mind works in small circles—she focuses mainly on tactile objects like the linens and the china. </li></ul><ul><li>Her husband's bankruptcy makes her confused and listless, and all she can do is wonder what she has done to receive such bad luck. </li></ul><ul><li>Mrs. Tulliver likes Tom more than Maggie as children, but she grows prouder of Maggie as Maggie grows tall, striking, and more demure. </li></ul><ul><li>Stephen Guest  -  Stephen Guest is courting Lucy Deane when we meet him but has not yet proposed marriage. </li></ul><ul><li>He is the son of the senior partner of Guest & Co., where both Tom and Mr. Deane work. </li></ul><ul><li>Stephen is handsome and self-assured. Though he cares for Lucy, and for the life they would have together, he falls unexpectedly in love with Maggie, drawn to her strikingly different qualities. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Maggie <ul><li>Maggie Tulliver is the protagonist of The Mill on the Floss. </li></ul><ul><li>When the novel begins, Maggie is a clever and impetuous child. </li></ul><ul><li>Eliot presents Maggie as more imaginative and interesting than the rest of family. Yet Maggie's passionate preoccupations also cause pain for others. </li></ul><ul><li>Maggie will remember her childhood fondly and with longing, yet these years are depicted as painful ones. </li></ul><ul><li>Maggie's mother and aunts continually express disapproval with Maggie's rash behavior, uncanny intelligence, and unnaturally dark skin, hair, and eyes. </li></ul><ul><li>Yet it is only Tom's opinion for which Maggie cares, and his inability to show her unconditional love, along with his embarrassment at her impetuosity, often plunges Maggie into the utter despair particular to immaturity. The most important event of Maggie's young life is her encounter with a book of Thomas a Kempis's writings, which recommend abandoning one's cares for oneself and focusing instead on unearthly values and the suffering of others. Maggie encounters the book during the difficult year of her adolescence and her family's bankruptcy. Looking for a &quot;key&quot; with which to understand her unhappy lot, Maggie seizes upon Kempis's writings and begins leading a life of deprivation and penance. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>Yet even in this lifestyle, Maggie paradoxically practices her humility with natural passion and pride. It is not until she re- establishes a friendship with Philip Wakem, however, that Maggie can be persuaded to respect her own need for intellectual and sensuous experience and to see the folly of self-denial. Maggie's relationship with Philip shows both her deep compassion, as well as the self-centered gratification that comes with having someone who fully appreciates her compassion. As Maggie continues to meet Philip Wakem secretly, against her father's wishes, her internal struggle seems to shift. Maggie feels the conflict of the full intellectual life that Philip offers her and her &quot;duty&quot; to her father. It is Tom who reminds her of this &quot;duty,&quot; and Maggie's wish to be approved of by Tom remains strong. The final books of The Mill on the Floss feature Maggie at the age of nineteen. She seems older than her years and is described as newly sensuous—she is tall with full lips, a full torso and arms, and a &quot;crown&quot; of jet black hair. Maggie's unworldliness and lack of social pretension make her seem even more charming to St. Ogg's, as her worn clothing seems to compliment her beauty. Maggie has been often unhappy in her young adulthood. Having given up her early asceticism, she longs for a richness of life that is unavailable to her. When she meets Stephen Guest, Lucy Deane's handsome suitor, and enters into the society world of St. Ogg's, Maggie feels this wont for sensuousness fulfilled for the first time. Stephen plays into Maggie's romantic expectations of life and gratifies her pride. Maggie and Stephen's attraction seems to exist more in physical gestures than in witty discussion, and it seems to intoxicate them both. When faced with a decision between a life of passionate love with Stephen and her &quot;duty&quot; to her family and position, Maggie chooses the latter. Maggie has too much feeling for the memories of the past to relinquish them by running away. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Tom <ul><li>The Tullivers' older son. </li></ul><ul><li>Tom has his own clear sense of duty, justice, and fairness, and these standards affect his action more so than emotion. </li></ul><ul><li>Tom has affection for Maggie, but he dislikes her impetuous way of doing what she wants. </li></ul><ul><li>Tom brings the family out of debt and becomes a promising young worker at his uncle Deane's company, Guest & Co. </li></ul><ul><li>Tom may be in love with Lucy Deane, but he focuses only on his work. </li></ul><ul><li>He is bossy and convinced that he always knows what's good for everyone else, traits he displays in childhood and continues throughout the book. </li></ul><ul><li>He is ambitious, but not very intelligent; although he studies geometry and Latin, he does not retain them and is more interested in &quot;cutting a fine figure&quot; in front of other people than in learning. </li></ul><ul><li>He has a very high opinion of himself but does not stop to think how he will impress other people without skills or knowledge, so when he goes to get a job, he is surprised that he is suitable only for the most menial labor. </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Like his father, Tom is stubborn and unyielding, and the more other people argue with him, the more tenaciously he clings to his own opinion. </li></ul><ul><li>He never lets go of a grudge, is not forgiving, and does not comprehend what love or kindness is. When his father tells him to take care of Maggie, he thinks of this purely in the monetary sense, not in the sense of loving her. </li></ul><ul><li>Just before he and Maggie die in the flood at the end of the book, he realizes that his view of life has been too narrow and that he has not loved her as he should have, but by then it's too late: after this realization, they die together. </li></ul><ul><li>Tom Tulliver got a pretty raw deal. He had to go work a crummy job at sixteen, after his dad bankrupted the family. And he died in a flash flood. He pretty much has no friends at all. In fact, most people don’t like Tom. </li></ul><ul><li>But Tom isn’t an antagonist. In fact, he is arguably a protagonist, along with his sister Maggie, to whom he is bound for better or worse. Tom may not be popular, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t sympathetic. </li></ul>
  15. 15. Themes <ul><li>At the time of its publication, The Mill on the Floss received critical attention, both good and bad, because it was one of the first novels to consider the lives and problems of middle-class English country people and to present their lives in great detail. </li></ul><ul><li>Some readers of the time found this fascinating. </li></ul><ul><li>For example, Leslie Stephen, writing in Corn-hill Magazine in 1881, wrote that no other writer had so clearly presented &quot;the essential characteristics [of quiet English country life]&quot; and that she &quot;has shown certain aspects of a vanishing social phase with a power and delicacy unsurpassed.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>On the other hand, W. L. Collins, writing in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine in 1860, wrote that the novel was drawn &quot;from the worst aspect of the money-making middle class — their narrow-minded complacent selfishness, their money-worship, their petty schemes and jealousies.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>What all critics agreed on, however, was that Eliot drew a very accurate portrait of middle-class country people. No one in the book is wealthy, with the exception of Lawyer Wakem and Mr. Guest, and the characters' money is derived from their own work, not passed down from upper-class parents. When Eliot describes the Tullivers sitting down to tea or a conference of all the aunts and uncles, she shows them interacting and lets readers hear their conversation: </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Funerals were always conducted with peculiar propriety in the Dodson family: the hatbands were never of a blue shade, the gloves never split at the thumb, everybody was a mourner who ought to be, and there were always scarfs for the bearers. </li></ul><ul><li>A female Dodson, when in 'strange' houses, always ate dry bread with her tea. </li></ul><ul><li>Later, she describes the materialistic people of St. Ogg's: </li></ul><ul><li>One sees little trace of religion (among these people), still less of a distinctively Christian creed. Their belief in the Unseen, so far as it manifests itself at all, seems to be rather of a pagan kind; their moral notions, though held with strong tenacity, seem to have no standard beyond hereditary custom. </li></ul><ul><li>Eliot also portrays the life of the countryside: farmers, like the Mosses, working to survive; Luke, the simple miller; housewives buying goods from packmen like Bob Jakin; more prosperous people building up their businesses; and boatmen on the river. </li></ul><ul><li>Individual Versus Society </li></ul><ul><li>Maggie Tulliver is an extremely intelligent girl who by nature is perpetually at odds with the narrow-minded, conservative, and restrictive culture she lives in. </li></ul><ul><li>Throughout the book, she is torn between resisting social conventions and obeying them. </li></ul><ul><li>Even as a child, she does not fit the model of the proper girl. There's really no place for her; her mother is embarrassed by her and despairs of ever getting her to behave like other girls, and, as Mr. Tulliver makes clear, most men want to marry a woman who is, if not exactly stupid, at least not intelligent enough to challenge them. </li></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>Maggie's brother Tom is the personification of the family and social values Maggie struggles against. She tries to reconcile her own personal freedom and inner nature with Tom's narrow. </li></ul><ul><li>Unlike her brother, she is interested in books and learning and is sensitive to music and art. However, these interests are not much encouraged by her family or others. </li></ul><ul><li>When Maggie visits Tom's school, she asks Reverend Stelling if she could study geometry and Latin, as Tom is doing. </li></ul><ul><li>Maggie is crushed by this comment, and Tom is triumphant. Maggie is also confused because she has been called &quot;quick&quot; all her life and has thought this quickness desirable but now, because of Stelling's remark, thinks that perhaps this &quot;quickness&quot; is simply a mark of her female shallowness and inferiority of mind: she's doomed never to succeed. </li></ul><ul><li>Later in the book, Maggie gets into trouble because of her deep desire to love and be loved. No one in her family, least of all Tom, truly understands her or loves her unconditionally, so she is deeply gratified by the attention Philip and Stephen give her. However, she is also conflicted about their attention because her relationship with Philip is considered shameful by her family and, in the case of Stephen, it's considered scandalous by everyone. </li></ul><ul><li>By the end of the book, she is so trapped by these conflicting urges, that there is seemingly no way out except death. When she dies in the flood, the conflicts are over, and she is united with her brother again. However, this is not a real solution; if she had survived the flood, it's obvious that her unity with Tom could never have lasted. </li></ul>
  18. 18. Motifs <ul><li>The Disparity Between the Dodsons and the Tullivers </li></ul><ul><li>Early on in the novel a distinction between the two families from which Tom and Maggie are descended is drawn out. </li></ul><ul><li>The Dodsons are socially respectable, concerned with codes of behavior, and materialistic. </li></ul><ul><li>The Tullivers are less socially respectable and have a depth of emotion and affection. </li></ul><ul><li>Tom is associated with the Dodsons, even more so when an adult, and Maggie is associated with the Tullivers. </li></ul><ul><li>Music </li></ul><ul><li>We often see Maggie nearly lose consciousness when listening to music. </li></ul><ul><li>As a motif, music works the opposite way too: when Maggie experiences moments of profound, unconscious discovery or understanding, these moments are accompanied by a sense of music, as when she reads Thomas a Kempis for the first time and feels as though she hears, &quot;a strain of solemn music.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>Music in The Mill on the Floss is not meant to indicate moments when Maggie is either succumbing to evil or experiencing good, but rather it indicates her generally heightened sensibilities. </li></ul>
  19. 19. <ul><li>Animal Imagery </li></ul><ul><li>Especially in the early books of The Mill on the Floss, Tom, and especially Maggie, are associated with animal imagery. The imagery is usually of farm-type animals—ponies, dogs. </li></ul><ul><li>Following Darwin, Eliot uses this imagery also to gesture toward the wider relation between humans and animals that can be especially seen in young children. </li></ul><ul><li>Dark and Light Women </li></ul><ul><li>The motif of darkness and lightness of women—meaning their eyes, hair, or skin—is often used to emphasize the uniqueness of Maggie's appearance. </li></ul><ul><li>The motif of darkness and lightness connects to the motif of the distinctions between the Dodsons and the Tullivers—the Tullivers have darker skin, while the Dodsons have lighter skin. </li></ul>
  20. 20. Symbols <ul><li>The Floss </li></ul><ul><li>The Floss is a somewhat difficult symbol to track, as it also exists for realistic effect in the workings of the novel. On the symbolic level, the Floss is related most often to Maggie, and the river, with its depth and potential to flood, symbolizes Maggie's deeply running and unpredictable emotions. The river's path, nonexistent on maps, is also used to symbolize the unforseeable path of Maggie's destiny. </li></ul><ul><li>St. Ogg </li></ul><ul><li>St. Ogg, the legendary patron saint of the town, was a Floss ferryman. One night a woman with a child asked to be taken across the river, but the winds were high and no other boaters would take her. Only Ogg felt pity for her in her need and took her. When they reached the other side, her rags turned into robes, and she revealed herself to be the Blessed Virgin. The Virgin pronounced Ogg's boat safe to all who rode in it, and she sat always in the prow. The parable of Ogg rewards the human feeling of pity or sympathy. Maggie has a dream during her night on the boat with Stephen, wherein Tom and Lucy row past them, and Tom is St. Ogg, while Lucy is the Virgin. The dream makes explicit Maggie's fear of having neglected to sympathize with those whom she hurts during her night with Stephen (and also, perhaps, her fear that they will not sympathize with her in the future). But it is Maggie, finally, who stands for St. Ogg, as she rows down river thinking only of Tom's safety during the flood in a feat of &quot;almost miraculous, divinely-protected effort.&quot; </li></ul>
  21. 21. <ul><li>Maggie's eyes </li></ul><ul><li>Eliot depicts Maggie's eyes as her most striking feature. All men (including Philip, Bob Jakin, and Stephen) notice her eyes first and become entranced. Maggie's eyes are a symbol of the power of emotion she contains—the depth of feeling and hunger for love that make her a tragic character. This unique force of character seems to give her power over others, for better or for worse. In Book First, Maggie is associated with Medusa, the monster who turns men to stone by looking at them. Maggie's eyes compel people, and different characters' reactions to them often reflect the character's relationship with Maggie. Thus, Philip, who will become Maggie's teacher, in a sense, and first love, notices that her eyes &quot;were full of unsatisfied intelligence, and unsatisfied, beseeching affection.&quot; Bob Jakin, who views Maggie as superior to him and a figure of whom to be in awe, reports that Maggie has &quot;such uncommon eyes, they looked somehow as they made him feel nohow.&quot; Finally, Stephen, who will exploit the inner struggle that Maggie has felt for the entire novel, notices that Maggie's eyes are &quot;full of delicious opposites.&quot; </li></ul>
  22. 22. Style <ul><li>Dialect: </li></ul><ul><li>A notable feature of Eliot's writing is her use of local dialect. </li></ul><ul><li>For example, Mr. Tulliver tells his wife, &quot;What I want is to give Tom a good education. I should like Tom to be a bit of a scholar, so as he might be up to the tricks o' these fellows as talk fine and write with a flourish.“ </li></ul><ul><li>Instead Mr. Riley, who is an auctioneer and somewhat better educated, does not use dialect. </li></ul><ul><li>Bob Jakin , who is of an even lower class than the Tullivers, uses more marked dialect; for example, when he is discussing a reward he received for putting out a fire, he says, &quot;It was a fire i' Torry's mill, an' I doused it, else it 'ud ha' set th' oil alight; an th' genelman gen me ten suvreigns — he gen me 'em himself last week.“ </li></ul>
  23. 23. <ul><li>However, Eliot shows the reader that Maggie is actually intelligent. Maggie never uses dialect, even in the beginning of the book when she is very young. </li></ul><ul><li>This clarity of expression in such a small child is clearly meant to show Maggie's notable intelligence as well as her difference from her family. </li></ul><ul><li>Dialect was often used by writers in Eliot's time, but as Lynda Mugglestone wrote in Review of English Studies , Eliot's use of dialect to characterize speakers is particularly notable for its accuracy, subtlety, and clarity. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Historical Context <ul><li>Education </li></ul><ul><li>Schools run by the state did not exist in England until 1870. Before that time, parents could send their children to any of four different types of school: private, endowed, church, and ragged. Anyone could open a private school, and no particular qualifications were required, so these schools varied greatly depending on the skill of the teachers. In The Mill on the Floss , the Reverend Stelling's school is a private arrangement, and as Eliot shows, Stelling is obviously not a very gifted teacher.. The Church of England, as well as other religious groups, also ran schools. Ragged schools were established by the Ragged School Union, founded in 1844, to educate the poor. </li></ul><ul><li>Women often did not attend school, but those in the wealthier classes had private governesses who schooled them in ladylike &quot;accomplishments&quot; such as painting, drawing, and music. </li></ul>
  25. 25. <ul><li>Roles of Woman: </li></ul><ul><li>In the mid-nineteenth century, women were expected to marry and have children. Because they were not allowed to enter any jobs. In addition, because money and property were inherited only through males, it was almost impossible for a woman to be single and financially independent even if she had wealthy parents, because her brothers or male cousins would inherit everything from them, leaving her without an income. Those who, like Maggie, did not have wealthy parents and were not married had to find work, but their need to work was regarded as somewhat shameful, both for them and for their families. Maggie planned to become a governess; other work available to women included washing clothes, factory work, farm labor, domestic service, sewing and prostitution. </li></ul><ul><li>Women were considered the property of men; a girl belonged to her father until she married, after which she belonged to her husband. A woman had no legal rights; even if someone committed a crime against her, she could not prosecute. If a woman entered the marriage with an inheritance, it became her husband's when they married, and he could spend it on anything he pleased. Women could not obtain divorces, even if their husbands were abusive or unfaithful, and if they ran away, they could be arrested, brought back to their husbands, or imprisoned. </li></ul><ul><li>All of these laws and customs made life very difficult for women who, like Maggie Tulliver, found it hard to fit the mold of quiet and submissive womanhood. Nevertheless, some women did rebel against these strictures; George Eliot, who lived with George Henry Lewes without being married to him, was one of them. </li></ul>
  26. 26. <ul><li>Compare and Contrast: </li></ul><ul><li>1860: Most professions are closed to women, who are expected to marry and have children. Those in the poorer classes must do menial labor, and any money they make is legally their husbands' property. Today: Women can choose almost any career they desire, including professions such as law and medicine; they can join the armed forces and can expect to see combat; and they are free to enter traditionally male-dominated fields, such as business, construction, and many others. </li></ul><ul><li>1860: Women are given less education than men, or are educated in vastly different subject areas than men, and are not allowed to attend universities. Today: Women and men have equal educational opportunities. </li></ul><ul><li>1860: Women do not have the right to vote. Today: The Twentieth Amendment to the Constitution, giving women the right to vote, was passed in 1920. </li></ul><ul><li>1860: When a woman marries, all her property becomes her husband's, and in her wedding vows, she must promise to obey her husband in all things. Today: Women retain legal access to their own property after marriage, and the word &quot;obey&quot; is not a requirement in wedding vows. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Criticism <ul><li>Kelly Winters </li></ul><ul><li>Winters is a freelance writer. In this essay, Winters considers the conflict between self-realization and acceptance in Eliot's novel. </li></ul><ul><li>In Studies in the Novel , June Skye Szirotny commented that, of all Eliot's works, only in The Mill on the Floss does she &quot;explore the conflict between self-realization and acceptance that makes for the ambivalence at the heart of all her fiction — ambivalence that she will set herself to resolve in the rest of her fiction.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>This ambivalence runs, like the River Floss, throughout the novel and is the heart of Maggie's conflict with her family and society. It is made worse by the fact that &quot;acceptance&quot; or &quot;love&quot; is rarely given freely by the other characters in the book; it is always conditional. In effect, her family lets Maggie know that only if you behave as you're supposed to will we love and accept you.&quot; </li></ul><ul><li>When Maggie can't or won't behave as her family wants her to, they label her as &quot; unnatural &quot; and threaten to stop loving her. When Mrs. Tulliver insists that Maggie curl her hair, Maggie douses her head in a basin of water, putting an end to the question of curls. </li></ul><ul><li>In fact, there is almost no one in the world who loves Maggie as she is, rambunctious behaviour, intelligence, and all; everyone around her is constantly trying to mold her and withdrawing from her when they are unable to do so. Only Bob Jakin, who chivalrously brings Maggie gifts and takes her in after her disastrous boat ride, and Lucy, who kindly schemes to bring her and Philip together, have no self-serving motives when it comes to Maggie. They are truly her friends and are only interested in helping her find happiness. </li></ul><ul><li>However, her family has a big impact on her. Because of her family's attitude toward her, Maggie lives under a constant threat of disapproval and abandonment. This is especially hard for her because she has a loving nature; she is described as being &quot; as dependent on kind or cold words as a daisy on the sunshine or the cloud .&quot; Because of her strong need to be loved, she is often willing to do anything to gain approval from Tom and others. </li></ul>
  28. 28. <ul><li>Maggie loves Tom far more than he loves her, and she falls into despair when he does not approve of her. He, on the contrary, does not care what she thinks of him; it would never even occur to him to wonder what's on her mind. </li></ul><ul><li>In addition to her fear of losing Tom's love, Maggie also has a hearty dose of self-blame; she blames herself for the estrangement and strife between her and Tom, even though, to the reader, he appears to be largely responsible for it because of his narrow-minded and controlling nature. Maggie has been taught to see herself as selfish when she seeks love and companionship with Philip, simply because her family would be upset to know she was associating with a Wakem. They demand that she sacrifice this chance for love, or even friendship, so that they can remain strong in their feud with the Wakem family. Like Tom, they never consider how this will affect her. Interestingly, Maggie never becomes angry at Tom or her family for trying to run her life or preventing her from seeing Philip; she simply assumes that they are right and she is wrong. </li></ul><ul><li>When Maggie goes down the river with Stephen, few people are sympathetic to her. Although she is actually blameless, she is vilified for shaming her family and Tom. Few people are particularly interested in finding out whether or not she is actually guilty of any illicit behaviour. </li></ul><ul><li>When Maggie does return, Tom will have nothing to do with her, telling her she has disgraced the entire family and that she has been &quot;a curse&quot; to her best friends. He then disowns her, saying, &quot; You don't belong to me ,&quot; and he won't listen to her explanations and apologies. Although he says he will provide for her, he will not allow her to associate with him or to come under his roof. </li></ul>
  29. 29. <ul><li>This rejection is what Maggie has been dreading for her entire life. Typically, she does not defend herself; Eliot explains her behaviour by saying she is &quot; half-stunned — too heavily pressed upon by her anguish even to discern any difference between her actual guilt and her brother's accusations, still less to vindicate herself.&quot; Instead, she says weakly, &quot;Whatever I have done, I repent it bitterly ,&quot; and she apologizes. However, Tom will have none of it. &quot; The sight of you is hateful to me ,&quot; he tells her. </li></ul><ul><li>When a massive flood carries part of the mill away and leaves Tom stranded in their old house, Maggie is the only person who shows up to save Tom. For the first time in his life, he realizes that he has underestimated her and their relationship. Eliot writes that he was &quot; pale with a certain awe and humiliation .&quot; It is the first time in the story that he has been deeply beaten or humiliated by anything. He calls her by his childhood nickname for her, &quot;Maggie,&quot; and they come to an unspoken forgiveness and understanding, similar to the one they shared as children. They are close again, allies in the fight against the flood, instead of the adversaries they had become. </li></ul><ul><li>Maggie's story is destined to be tragic: because of her perhaps mistaken love for her brother and her deep regard for her family, she stunts herself. When Maggie dies in the flood, she and her brother are united in a way they haven't been since childhood. However, it is not an adult connection of equals but a return and regression to a time when they were so young and their experiences so limited that they had no reason to quarrel. What Eliot does not do, and perhaps cannot do, given the society she lived in and her own struggles against slander and gossip, is provide an ending to the story in which Maggie lives through the flood and has a happy and productive life. Throughout the book, Maggie struggles with balancing self-realization and acceptance, but the ending of her story, instead of leading her to a solution of that problem, is a simple regression to a time when these problems did not exist. </li></ul>
  30. 30. Meaning of the mill <ul><li>The mill Dorlcote is presented in a very positive start is a building in harmony with nature, soothing and serene, where even the sound of the spinning wheel looks like a music. Here are some parts of this description on the book: - 'A vast plain, where the Floss, widening, hurries to the sea between the green banks [..]. Far away, on either side, stretch the rich pastures, interspersed with patches of black earth, ready to receive the seed of the green made fogliosa [..]'. - 'And here is the mill Dorlcote. Also counting for this time of finish in February, it's nice to see perhaps the season a little 'cold and damp adds charm to the house well maintained civil and welcoming, as old as the elms and chestnut. The current time is swollen, and invades this brief planting of willows, and almost overwhelms the edge of the grassy lawn in front of the house '. In fact, as the protagonist for his conduct, consistent with its principles but dissonant than the bourgeois respectability of society will be removed from the mill, the latter is to represent the male bastion of order from the point of view, indeed, sexist abounds. Also, since Maggie eventually dies along with his brother drowned in front of the mill and the mill itself is destroyed, one gets the impression that the same company, in which the mill is a symbol, while condemning the 'witch' Maggie, it collapses itself, a victim of its contradictions. </li></ul>
  31. 31. <ul><li>All this also ties in the first part of the story, where his mother Maggie, Bessy, often seems to presage the death of her daughter in a pool of water, and where his father, Mr.Tulliver, gives her a book about a country where lived an old woman believed by the villagers as a witch. To confirm this, they decide to do a test that was to throw it in water if he remained alive then it was really a witch and was sentenced to death, while if it meant that he had drowned had it wrong. Women, then, would die anyway. All this background to the novel and the society in which it takes place, is the confirmation that Maggie, being drowned, was never a 'witch', but only a poor girl who tried to assert his principles, even if completely different from those of all other her age. </li></ul>
  32. 32. Sources <ul><li>Allen, Walter, &quot;Eliot, George,&quot; in Reference Guide to English Literature , 2d ed., edited by D. L. Kirkpatrick, St. James Press, 1991. </li></ul><ul><li>Brownell, W. C., &quot;George Eliot,&quot; in Victorian Prose Masters: Thackeray — Carlyle — George Eliot — Matthew Arnold — Ruskin — George Meredith , Charles Scribner's Sons, 1901, pp. 99 – 145. </li></ul><ul><li>Collins, W. L., &quot;A Review of The Mill on the Floss ,&quot; in Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine , May 1860, pp. 611 – 23. </li></ul><ul><li>Cooper, Lettice, &quot;George Eliot,&quot; in British Writers , Vol. 5, British Council, 1982, pp. 187 – 201. </li></ul><ul><li>Levy, Emanuel, &quot; The Mill on the Floss ,&quot; Movie review, in Variety , June 2, 1997, p. 55. </li></ul><ul><li>Luyster, I. M., &quot;The Eliot Novels,&quot; in Christian Examiner , March 1861, pp. 227 – 51. </li></ul>
  33. 33. <ul><li>Mugglestone, Lynda, &quot;Grammatical Fair Ones: Women, Men, and Attitudes to Language in the Novels of George Eliot,&quot; in Review of English Studies , February 1995, p. 11. </li></ul><ul><li>&quot;A Review of The Mill on the Floss ,&quot; in Saturday Review (London), April 14, 1860, pp. 470 – 71. </li></ul><ul><li>Stephen, Leslie, &quot;George Eliot,&quot; in Cornhill Magazine , February 1881, pp. 152 – 68. </li></ul><ul><li>Szirotny, June Skye, &quot;Maggie Tulliver's Sad Sacrifice: Confusing but Not Confused,&quot; in Studies in the Novel , Summer 1996, p. 178. </li></ul><ul><li>Tufel, Alice L., &quot;A Hundred Conflicting Shades: The Divided Passions of George Eliot,&quot; in Biblio , November 1998, p. 20. </li></ul><ul><li>Wiesenfarth, Joseph, &quot;George Eliot,&quot; in Dictionary of Literary Biography , Vol. 21: Victorian Novelists Before 1885 , edited by Ira B. Nadel, Gale Research, 1983, pp. 145 – 70. </li></ul>