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The Mill on the Floss

The Mill on the Floss

by George Eliot

The Mill on the Floss Themes

Little Words, Big Ideas

Love

Love goes hand in hand with suffering, which is pretty much par for the course in The Mill on the Floss. Everything goes hand in hand with suffering here. Love in particular causes people pain, and...

Family

Family is at the core of The Mill on the Floss. Most of the book’s characters are somehow related, and the sibling relationship between Tom and Maggie is arguably the most important one in th...

Choices

Choices are rarely black and white in The Mill on the Floss. Though certain characters like to force people to choose between two arbitrary alternatives (we’re looking at you, Tom), choices a...

Memory and the Past

The past or the present? That may sound like a weird question to ask, but it’s one that a ton of characters in The Mill on the Floss attempt to answer. A person’s past and their memorie...

Home

Home may be where the heart is, but in The Mill on the Floss it's also where the self is. Home isn’t really just a place. And it’s not something sappy like family either. Well, not enti...

Suffering

Suffering, particularly of the emotional variety, seems to be the one universal constant in The Mill on the Floss. Suffering isn’t just expected by everyone, it’s even welcome by some o...

Compassion and Forgiveness

Compassion can be very hard to come by in The Mill on the Floss. Most characters seem more inclined to hold grudges, plot revenge, maintain prejudices, and spread rumors. The feelings of other peo...

Gender

Tom and Maggie represent opposite sides of many themes in The Mill on the Floss, and gender inequality is no exception. Basically, men had all the rights in the Victorian period. Tom bosses Maggie...

Society and Class

Mr. Tulliver probably sums up society best by calling it "puzzling." The society of St. Ogg’s can be very confusing and even contradictory. Though the society here operates on strict rules, i...

Art and Culture

Given how depressing most of the characters’ lives are in The Mill on the Floss, it make sense that they look for some sort of amusement and entertainment. And art and culture, be it literatu...
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