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The Mill on the Floss
by George Eliot
Mr. Tulliver Timeline and Summary
Mr. Tulliver wants to send his son Tom to a good school. On Mr. Riley’s advice, Mr. Tulliver sends his son to study with Mr. Stelling. Mr. Tulliver agrees to not make his sister pay her debt to him, since she and her family are very poor. Mr. Tulliver loses a lawsuit against a client of Mr. Wakem. In his shock and despair over the lawsuit and the fact that his home mortgage has passed to Wakem, Mr. Tulliver has a stroke. He is seriously ill while his family is declared bankrupt. Tom upholds his father’s wishes regarding the Moss family. Mr. Tulliver recovers and is shocked to learn how bad his family’s circumstances are. Mr. Tulliver agrees to go work for Mr. Wakem, the new owner of the family mill, at his wife’s behest. Mr. Tulliver curses Wakem in the family Bible and swears vengeance against him. He is increasingly obsessed with money and grows depressed and angry. Mr. Tulliver is thrilled when Tom earns enough money to pay the family debts. After he encounters Wakem on the road, Mr. Tulliver attacks Wakem and horsewhips him. His health fails him once more and Mr. Tulliver dies after making his son promise to buy back the mill and to take care of his sister.