The Mill on the Floss
by George Eliot
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.
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