By Helen Wheeler (auth.)
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Common Books e-book date: 2009 unique ebook date: 1879 unique writer: Wilstach, Baldwin
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Extra resources for The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot
His uncle questions him about his education and Tom is made to realise that he knows nothing useful such as book-keeping. If he is to be successful he will have to start in the warehouse, but no definite job is offered yet. Tom returns dispiritedly to the Mill, and vents some of his disappointment on Maggie whom he rebukes for her outburst the day before. Commentary The inanity of Tom's education and that of many others is demonstrated here and contrasted with what the early nineteenth century really needed, that is, some preparation for a world of expanding commerce, technology and science.
Mrs Tulliver cannot come to terms with her changed world and Mr Tulliver avoids all old acquaintances because he is so ashamed of his debts. Though he wants Maggie near him, the sight of her feeds his bitterness since he fears that poverty will ruin her future and all his energy goes into rigid thrift. Like his father, Tom is single-minded in determination to pay off the debt, and neither of them gives to Maggie any of the tenderness her nature craves. Commentary There is no sentimentality here in this review of the long-term effects of poverty and worry.
Mrs Moss and Mrs Tulliver fear he will once again go to law: but the latter's repeated appeals to keep clear of lawsuits only strengthen his determination to do so, a determination further increased by his enmity for Pivart's lawyer, Wakem. Tom's holiday is marred by his father's increasing irritability over these matters, and by learning that Wakem's crippled son Philip will be joining him at Mr Stelling's next term. Commentary The troubles of the adult world begin to break in on Tom as he notices, but does not understand, the change in his father, whose obstinacy is made worse by his wife's tactlessness.