Study Guide

The Mill on the Floss Book 1, Chapter 8

By George Eliot

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Book 1, Chapter 8

Mr. Tulliver Shows His Weaker Side

  • The fight with the Gleggs is still on everyone’s mind. Mr. Tulliver decides to pay the Gleggs back since they loaned him some money. He doesn’t want to owe Mrs. Glegg anything now.
  • But this means that Mr. Tulliver will need to get his brother-in-law, Mr. Moss, to pay him back some money, so that Mr. Tulliver can then go pay back the Gleggs.
  • Mr. Tulliver goes to see the Moss family in order to ask for his money. The Moss family is very poor and they have eight children. Mrs. Moss is Mr. Tulliver's sister.
  • Mrs. Moss comes outside to greet her brother. She is a resigned woman, exhausted by all her children and used to being treated badly by those of a higher social standing.
  • Mr. Tulliver is pretty abrupt with her since he’s feeling a little bad about asking for money.
  • Mrs. Moss tells him that Maggie should come visit her – she loves Maggie and notes that her own daughter Lizzie looks a bit like Maggie.
  • Mr. Tulliver berates Mrs. Moss for having so many kids – she has four girls and four boys.
  • Mrs. Moss says she hopes the boys will always look after their sisters, and Mr. Tulliver worries about how Tom will treat his sister in the future. He’s nicer to Mrs. Moss after this thought.
  • Mr. Moss shows up finally and he and Mr. Tulliver go off to talk business.
  • Mr. Moss is nice and agrees to try to pay Mr. Tulliver back, even though it will be very hard for him.
  • Mr. Tulliver acts like a punk about it. But he thinks more about Maggie and Tom and decides to be nicer to his own sister. He tells Mrs. Moss to forget about the money.

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