Study Guide

The Mill on the Floss Book 5, Chapter 4

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Book 5, Chapter 4

Another Love Scene

  • We jump forward a year. Maggie and Philip have been meeting secretly all this time.
  • Maggie is much more cheerful and witty here and she teases Philip about the book he has lent her.
  • Maggie declares that she’s tired of the blonde girls always getting the guy in the books she reads and refuses to read any more books like that.
  • Philip jokes that maybe Maggie will steal a boyfriend away from her blonde cousin Lucy, but Maggie protests, saying that’s not very funny.
  • Maggie says she was just pointing out that she always roots for the underdog. Philip awkwardly asks if that applies to romance as well.
  • Maggie says she wouldn’t always like a man because everyone else disliked him – it would depend on why he was disliked.
  • Philip tells Maggie that he loves her in a very roundabout way and Maggie is very surprised.
  • Philip backpedals and Maggie tries to reassure him. Maggie awkwardly tells Philip that she loves him but tells him they need to drop the subject since nothing can ever come of it.
  • Philip basically begs Maggie to love him back and to make the decision to commit herself to him, regardless of their families.
  • Maggie gives Philip a kiss but then she tells him that, while she loves him, she can’t do anything to upset her father.
  • Philip agrees to wait and to love Maggie in secret. He is thrilled and says that he doesn’t care what his father thinks about it.
  • Maggie leaves and feels that her love of Philip is a good thing because it contains a lot of self-sacrifice.

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