Study Guide

The Mill on the Floss Book 5, Chapter 2

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Book 5, Chapter 2

Aunt Glegg Learns the Breadth of Tom’s Thumb

  • Tom has been working his way up in the world of business and is doing pretty well for himself.
  • Mr. Deane thinks that Tom has potential and has been giving him more responsibilities.
  • Like Maggie, Tom is on a path of self-denial. Tom, however, is now a total workaholic and he’s obsessed with paying off his father’s debts.
  • Tom is becoming much more severe and his aunts and uncles are liking him better, since he doesn’t resemble his father.
  • We flashback a year to an incident between Bob and Tom. Bob approached Tom with an investment scheme to make some extra cash. Tom is all about making money, so he’s down with this plan. But he needs some money to get things started.
  • He asks his dad for some money, but Mr. Tulliver doesn’t want to part with his precious money since he enjoys counting it every night. (Mr. Tulliver is turning into Golem from Lord of the Rings.)
  • Having stuck out there, Tom decides to ask his Uncle Glegg for help since Uncle Glegg is generally a cool guy.
  • So Bob and Tom go to visit the Gleggs.
  • Bob rambles on and on and amazes Mr. Glegg with his ability to never stop talking.
  • Mrs. Glegg then comes out to see what’s going on and she thinks Bob is a murderer or a thief or something bad.
  • Bob proceeds to charm the socks off of Mrs. Glegg.
  • Mastermind that he is, Bob sells both of the Gleggs on his and Tom’s business venture and he also manages to get Mrs. Glegg to buy some stuff from his pack by using the powers of reverse psychology. Basically, he tells Mrs. Glegg that she is too nice of a lady to want to buy any of his merchandise and, since Mrs. Glegg doesn’t like to be told she can’t do something, she buys some fabric from Bob and invests in Tom’s business venture.
  • Uncle Glegg finds the whole thing hilarious and he agrees to give Tom some money, too.
  • We jump forward in time again and learn that, by the time Maggie and Philip met in the Red Deeps, Tom has 150 pounds of his own money and has been promoted once again at Guest and Co. Well done, Tom.

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