The Mill on the Floss
by George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss Art and Culture Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Book.Chapter.Paragraph)
She was fond of fancying a world where the people never got any larger than children of their own age, and she made the queen of it just like Lucy with a little crown on her head and a little sceptre in her hand [...] only the queen was Maggie herself in Lucy’s form. (1.7.38)
Maggie’s overactive imagination, clearly influenced by the books she has read, is at work here. What is fascinating though is the psychology of this passage. Maggie imagines herself to be Lucy, getting rid of her own self in the imaginative world that she herself creates.
Poor Maggie sat down again, with the music all chased out of her soul, and the seven small demons all in again. (1.9.55)
The "seven small demons" refer to the seven deadly sins here. Music has a lot of thematic importance for Maggie and is here linked to a sort of inner peace and happiness that Maggie has a lot of trouble keeping.
In books there were people who were always agreeable or tender, and delighted to do things that made one happy, and who did not show their kindness by finding fault. The world outside the books was not a happy one, Maggie felt [...] (3.5.72)
Books are a way for Maggie to escape her real-life troubles, but that escape is increasingly short-lived here. It is notable that, while books and fiction don’t reflect reality, Maggie wishes that reality reflected books. Maggie’s standards for judging reality is largely influenced by her love of fiction.