Study Guide

The Mill on the Floss Book 7, Chapter 1

By George Eliot

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Book 7, Chapter 1

The Return to the Mill

  • Maggie has been away from St. Ogg’s for five days. She was so distraught that she accidentally took the wrong carriage when she left Mudport and headed north. She spent the night in York before turning around and heading back south to St. Ogg’s.
  • Maggie goes to see Tom first thing.
  • Tom already knows about her and Stephen. Turns out, the person Maggie saw in Mudport was Bob Jakin, who reported that he saw Maggie back to Tom.
  • Maggie comes to ask for Tom’s forgiveness and Tom is harsh and tells her that she will never have a home with him.
  • He says that she has disgraced the family and he is ashamed of her and wants nothing to do with her ever again.
  • Maggie is crushed and goes to leave. But her mom comes out and tells Maggie that she will stay with her.
  • Tom gives them some money and says that he’ll support them financially and that his mom is welcome whenever.
  • The women head off to Bob Jakin’s to rent a room.
  • Bob is kind and understanding and doesn’t judge Maggie. He gives her space for a few days.
  • Later, Bob brings in his new baby daughter, named Maggie.
  • Maggie is touched by this.
  • She asks Bob to get Dr. Kenn for her, saying she needs some religious guidance.
  • But Bob informs her that Mrs. Kenn has just died and Maggie tells him not to disturb poor Dr. Kenn.
  • Bob then offers to beat up Stephen for Maggie but Maggie tells him that she doesn’t blame Stephen at all.
  • Bob finds this whole forgiveness attitude confusing.
  • Bob leaves his dog with Maggie and goes back out.

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