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The Mill on the Floss
by George Eliot
Maggie Tulliver Timeline and Summary
Maggie is a precocious and highly intelligent kid growing up at Dorlcote Mill While Tom is away at school, Maggie accidentally kills his pet rabbits. The two fight but Tom forgives Maggie and they go fishing together. Maggie cuts off her hair after her relatives keep complaining about it. Maggie pushes Lucy in the mud at the Pullet’s house. She then runs away to the gypsies, but is soon safely returned home. Maggie goes to visit Tom at Mr. Stelling’s. Months later Maggie returns for another visit to Mr. Stelling’s and meets Philip Wakem. Tom tries to impress Maggie with a sword and injures himself, scaring Maggie badly. Maggie and Philip bond and she promises to always remember him. Years later, Maggie comes to get Tom from school since their father has lost his lawsuit and the family is now financially ruined. Maggie cares for her father after he falls dangerously ill. Maggie yells at her aunts and uncles for interfering after the family is about to go bankrupt. After the family goes bankrupt, Maggie has a very depressing existence. She has a religious awakening, though, and devotes herself to a strict philosophy of self-denial. After a few years of this, Maggie re-encounters Philip Wakem. Maggie agrees to start a secret friendship with Philip. This lasts for a year. Philip declares his love for Maggie and she awkwardly returns the sentiment. Tom discovers Philip and Maggie and forbids Maggie from seeing Philip again. Maggie swears on a Bible that she won’t see Philip anymore. She has an angry confrontation with Tom after Tom insults Philip. Maggie witnesses her father beating Mr. Wakem after the family debts are finally paid. Maggie works as a governess for a few years. She then returns to St. Ogg’s to visit her cousin Lucy. She then meets Stephen Guest at Lucy’s house. Maggie goes to ask Tom permission to see Philip Wakem, since he is friends with Lucy. Maggie starts falling for Stephen, but is torn about their relationship. While visiting her Aunt Moss, Stephen and Maggie meet and declare their love for one another, but Maggie refuses to start a relationship with him because of Philip and Lucy. Maggie goes rowing with Stephen and the pair stray far from home. They decide to elope. Maggie has her doubts, though, and the next day she leaves Stephen. She returns to St. Ogg’s and is shunned by nearly everyone. Tom refuses to have anything to do with her. Maggie goes to live with Bob Jakin and her mother goes with her. Maggie befriends Dr. Kenn, who tries to help her. Maggie is forgiven for almost eloping by both Philip and Lucy. She receives a letter from Stephen and, though she is tempted, she stands by her decision to break-up with him. The river floods and Maggie is swept away in a boat. She goes to rescue Tom. Maggie and Tom drown in the flood.