Study Guide

The Mill on the Floss Book 6, Chapter 8

By George Eliot

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Book 6, Chapter 8

Wakem in a New Light

  • A few days have passed. Lucy has enlisted Philip in her scheme.
  • Philip invites his dad upstairs to come see his latest paintings.
  • Wakem praises his son’s work and then notices two portraits which are unusual, since Philip normally paints landscapes.
  • Philip explains that they are pictures of Maggie Tulliver.
  • Wakem has his typical bad reaction to the name Tulliver.
  • He asks what’s up with Maggie, and Philip spills the beans about their long-running secret relationship.
  • Wakem is really mad and tells Philip than he’s an adult and can do what he wants. Wakem then stomps around the room.
  • Philip tells his dad that he can’t marry Maggie without his dad’s consent since he still needs his dad for money. Philip’s self-proclaimed independence does have some limits after all.
  • He then tells his dad that it wasn’t Maggie’s fault that her dad went nuts and beat him up that one time.
  • Mr. Wakem goes off for a while and, when he comes back, he is calmer. He questions Philip more about Maggie.
  • Mr. Wakem finally comes around and says that he’ll accept Maggie if she wants to marry Philip. He refuses to have anything to do with Tom, though, and says Philip can put up with him if he wants.
  • Philip then tells his dad about the plan for the mill and Mr. Wakem says Guest and Co. can buy it if they want since he’s tired of it.
  • The next day Philip goes to tell Mr. Deane the news, leaving out the bits about his relationship with Maggie. Mr. Deane is a bit confused but goes with it.

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