The Mill on the Floss
by George Eliot
The Mill on the Floss Book 1, Chapter 7 Summary
Enter the Aunts and Uncles
- The Gleggs are the first to arrive at the Tullivers, which is bad for Tom and Maggie since they can’t stand Aunt Glegg. Aunt Glegg is old, old-fashioned, and judgmental.
- Mrs. Glegg complains about her other sisters to Mrs. Tulliver, and then criticizes what time dinner is served in the Tulliver house. She then proceeds to criticize Mr. Tulliver for getting involved in lawsuits.
- The Pullets arrive to end Mrs. Glegg’s spiel. Mrs. Pullet enters crying. Turns out a her neighbor died yesterday. Aunt Glegg tells Aunt Pullet to pull herself together and to stop crying over some random person who isn’t even a Dodson
- Mrs. Pullet rambles about her neighbor and doctors, while Mr. Pullet makes the occasional observation and is generally confused.
- Mrs. Pullet and Mrs. Tulliver go upstairs together and gossip about Mrs. Glegg. Such a nice family.
- We also learn that the aunts often give Maggie old clothes that she stubbornly refuses to wear, much to Mrs. Tulliver’s shame.
- The last sister, Mrs. Deane, arrives with her daughter Lucy.
- Tom and Maggie run to greet Lucy and Aunt Glegg complains that they aren’t paying attention to her. Aunt Glegg and Aunt Pullet talk very loudly to the kid, scold Maggie for looking the way she does, and gripe about Maggie’s hair.
- Mr. Tulliver defends Maggie and his share of Maggie’s genetic makeup, which resulted in her unfortunate hair.
- Lucy is invited to stay over a while with her cousins and she agrees. Mr. Deane approves of this plan. We learn that Mr. Deane is a successful businessman with lots of money. He is not in the sausage business like his long-lost relative Jimmy, however.
- Maggie and Tom run upstairs before dinner. Maggie is sick of everyone complaining about her hair, so she decides to cut it off.
- Tom helps enthusiastically and, when they are done, Maggie looks pretty awful. Maggie is now really upset and refuses to come downstairs. Tom says whatever, and goes off to eat dinner.
- Maggie thinks that her life is pretty much over and the narrator tells us that Maggie will remember her traumatic haircut fiasco for the rest of her life.
- The maid, Kezia, comes to get Maggie, but Maggie refuses to come downstairs. Tom comes back to tell her to come downstairs and she still refuses.
- Finally, Maggie gets hungry and decides food is more important than looking dumb and getting in trouble.
- She tries to sneak in, but her mom sees her and screams in horror. All the aunts and uncles scold Maggie. Her dad comforts her though.
- After the hubbub dies down, Mr. Tulliver once again brings up his plan to send Tom to study with Mr. Stelling.
- The aunts and uncles are confused by this plan. Mrs. Glegg says it’s not a good idea to give Tom too good of an education, since it won’t fit his social class.
- Mr. Tulliver and Mrs. Glegg get into it – Mrs. Glegg is mad that Mr. Tulliver won’t listen to her advice and Mr. Tulliver tells Mrs. Glegg to butt out of his business.
- The dinner degenerates into a big fight, and the Gleggs storm out. Well, Mrs. Glegg storms out and Mr. Glegg runs after her. The other aunts and uncles stay and the men discuss politics.
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