* Site-Outage Notice: Our engineering elves will be tweaking the Shmoop site from Monday, December 22 10:00 PM PST to Tuesday, December 23 5:00 AM PST. The site will be unavailable during this time.
Dismiss
© 2014 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Mill on the Floss

The Mill on the Floss

by George Eliot

The Mill on the Floss Book 2, Chapter 3 Summary

The New Schoolfellow

  • Tom goes back to school and meets Philip Wakem.
  • Philip has a hunchback and Tom is uncomfortable around him.
  • (Quick Historical Context Lesson: Philip most likely suffered from a condition like scoliosis, or a curving of the spine. Back in this period they weren’t able to medically correct it. A lot of people in this period also disliked people with deformities and thought that they were somehow bad, so Philip would have dealt with a lot of prejudice against him.)
  • Philip and Tom are both proud and shy so they don’t say much to each other during their first meeting. It’s all very awkward.
  • Tom notices that Philip is not only deformed, but he also looks a bit like a girl. Philip is pale and small and has curly brown hair.
  • But Philip is a good artist, and Tom is intrigued by his pictures. So the two finally strike up a conversation over drawing.
  • Philip says he taught himself to draw and Tom is impressed.
  • It turns out that Philip already knows Latin and he’s at Mr. Stelling’s to learn some more advanced subjects.
  • Tom then asks Philip about his dad, which makes Philip uncomfortable.
  • The boys discuss school: Philip says he can learn the things he wants to in the future and he’ll just study Latin and stuff for now. Tom likes this plan.
  • Philip then impresses Tom with his knowledge of Greek and Roman history and all the cool battles.
  • We learn that Philip is fifteen and Tom is nearly fourteen.
  • Tom starts talking about fishing and Philip thinks fishing is dumb. The boys are called to dinner before they can argue about it.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...

Advertisement
Noodle's College Search
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement