© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.
The Mill on the Floss
by George Eliot
Stephen Guest Timeline and Summary
Stephen is Lucy’s suitor and frequently visits her at her home. Stephen jokingly assumes that Maggie will look like her mother and is shocked when he actually meets her. Stephen is drawn to Maggie instantly and begins to act in order to gain her attention. Stephen begins to fall in love with Maggie and is anxious to be in her presence. Stephen conspicuously ignores Maggie at the bazar and then gets into a small argument with Philip, Maggie’s other suitor. Stephen impulsively kisses Maggie’s arm at a ball and she is upset. He follows Maggie to her Aunt Moss’s house where he declares his love for her. The pair try to control their feelings, since they don’t wish to hurt Philip or Lucy. Maggie and Stephen go rowing on the river and stray too far from home. Stephen says this is fate and asks Maggie to elope with him. He hails a ship and tells them that he and Maggie are married. The pair spend the night onboard the ship, heading to a nearby port. Stephen and Maggie have a major confrontation at a local inn. Stephen begs Maggie not to leave him, but she eventually does. Stephen leaves the country in despair. He writes a letter to his family to explain the situation and he takes the blame for everything that happened. Stephen writes a letter to Maggie begging her to reconsider. Years later, Stephen is presumably married to Lucy and the two visit Maggie’s and Tom’s grave.