The Mill on the Floss
The Mill on the Floss
by George Eliot
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The Mill on the Floss Book 2, Chapter 7 Summary

The Golden Gates are Passed

  • We jump forward in time – Tom is now sixteen and has been studying all the while at Mr. Stelling’s.
  • Tom and Philip never recover their temporary friendship and Maggie rarely sees Philip anymore.
  • Mr. Tulliver is now engaged in his lawsuit with Mr. Privart and Mr. Wakem, and Maggie is sad that this probably means the end of her relationship with Philip.
  • Despite his rather ineffectual education, Tom is now a self-confident young man who is looking forward to finishing school. He is confident that his father’s lawsuit will be settled soon.
  • One day Maggie, now thirteen, shows up unexpectedly.
  • Maggie has awful news: their father has lost his lawsuit and the family is now financially ruined.
  • Tom is horrified and is suddenly thrust into the adult world without warning.
  • To make matters worse, their father is very ill and seems to have lost his mind – he doesn’t recognize anyone and is really out of it.
  • Tom quickly goes to tell Mr. Stelling the news and the two Tulliver siblings head back home.
  • The narrator closes the chapter by lamenting the loss of Tom and Maggie’s childhood innocence and hints that their lives are going to get much worse in the future.

Next Page: Book 3, Chapter 1
Previous Page: Book 2, Chapter 6

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