Study Guide

The Mill on the Floss Book 3, Chapter 2

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Book 3, Chapter 2

Mrs. Tulliver’s Teraphim, or Household Gods

  • Tom and Maggie arrive home to find a bailiff in their house. A bailiff is basically a court officer who collects unpaid fines or, in the case of the Tullivers, comes to repossess their belongings.
  • The kids find Mrs. Tulliver in the storeroom, crying over all her nice belongings.
  • She reminisces about all her stuff and is very upset.
  • She tells the kids that she sent for her sisters and their husbands, and hopes that they’ll help the family out with some money.
  • Mrs. Tulliver then starts complaining about how this is all Mr. Tulliver’s fault and cries.
  • Tom begins to realize that his dad probably is to blame for all this and decides that no one will ever talk about him with contempt when he is an adult.
  • Maggie starts getting angry at how they are talking about her dad. She scolds her mother about worrying over possessions instead of their dad.
  • Maggie gets very agitated – she hates blame since it never does any good.
  • Tom is shocked at Maggie’s outburst and the two siblings go to sit with their dad.

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