Study Guide

The Mill on the Floss Book 7, Chapter 3

By George Eliot

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Book 7, Chapter 3

Showing that Old Acquaintances Are Capable of Surprising Us

  • The unexpected behavior comes from none other than Mrs. Glegg.
  • Mrs. Tulliver reports on this to Maggie.
  • Turns out that Mrs. Glegg heard about everything from Tom and tells him off for thinking so badly of his sister.
  • Mrs. Glegg says that family needs to stick together and that Maggie is family first and foremost.
  • She refuses to believe the worst of Maggie and even gets into an argument with Mr. Glegg, who has taken Lucy’s side in the whole thing.
  • After hearing of Stephen’s letter Mrs. Glegg feels vindicated and tells off anyone who doubts Maggie’s honor.
  • Aunt Pullet is totally distraught and has no idea how to act since nothing like this has ever happened to the family before.
  • Mrs. Glegg goes after Tom again after Stephen’s letter arrives. Tom won’t budge, though, and sticks to his bad opinion of Maggie.
  • Mrs. Glegg feels that Maggie should be punished but in proportion to the actual crime (which was really a lapse in judgement as opposed to really scandalous behavior) and should be punished by the family, not by outsiders who don’t know what’s going on.
  • Mrs. Tulliver tells Maggie that Mrs. Glegg has invited her to live at the Gleggs' house.
  • Maggie is very grateful but insists that she needs to make her own way in the world now.
  • A few days go by and finally Maggie receives a letter from Philip.
  • This letter is epic. Philip tells Maggie that he believes in her and that he still loves her and doesn’t blame her for anything. He understands that they had a weird situation and made hasty promises to each other when they were young.
  • Philip tells Maggie that loving her was the best thing that has ever happened to him and he doesn’t regret it at all.
  • He tells her he forgives her everything and hopes she’ll be happy and not to worry about him.
  • Maggie does what anyone with a heart would do after reading a letter like that: cries.

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