Study Guide

The Mill on the Floss Book 7, Chapter 5

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Book 7, Chapter 5

The Last Conflict

  • It’s been raining non-stop for a few days and the river is starting to rise.
  • But St. Ogg’s hasn’t had a bad flood in years, so most people aren’t too concerned. Except for some old people who remember the last bad flood, but nobody listens to old people, so there you go.
  • It’s nighttime and Maggie is sitting up alone with a mysterious letter.
  • Two days earlier Maggie was essentially fired from her job with Dr. Kenn.
  • Poor Dr. Kenn heard about the rumors surrounding him and Maggie and tells Maggie that she really needs to just leave St. Ogg’s for her own good.
  • Maggie is upset and scared to be leaving.
  • Today, Maggie received a letter from Stephen that begs her to come back to him and blames her for making him miserable. It’s pretty childish and whiny.
  • Maggie is tempted, though, and hates causing Stephen pain.
  • But she finally decides not to abandon her resolve, even though she’s miserable right now. Going to Stephen would just make matters worse for her.
  • Maggie decides she’s going to have to suffer and be miserable for the rest of her life and asks God for strength to endure it.
  • Suddenly, water starts rushing into the house.
  • The river is flooding.
  • Bob and his family come down and try to get some boats.
  • Maggie gets in a boat but is suddenly swept away down the river.
  • She is alone and scared and sees the water spreading out over the fields and into St. Ogg’s.
  • After floating for a while, Maggie decides to head to the mill to see if she can help Tom.
  • Tom is trapped. He says their mom is out of town and he is there alone.
  • Tom gets into the boat with Maggie.
  • They silently forgive each other for everything.
  • The two decide to try to head to town to see about Lucy.
  • But suddenly a huge surge of water comes straight for them.
  • They are unable to get away and are carried under by the wave.
  • Tom and Maggie drown together and their bodies are found, hands clasped together, after the flood waters recede.

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