The Mill on the Floss

The Mill on the Floss


George Eliot

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The Mill on the Floss: Book 1, Chapter 13 Summary & Analysis

When Mrs. Pullet and Mr. Pullet visit Mrs. Glegg the next day to mediate the quarrel, Mrs. Glegg readily agrees to let the Tullivers keep the money. Mrs. Pullet then tells the story of how the Tulliver children behaved at her house yesterday. Mrs. Glegg predicts that they will come to a bad end.
The Dodson sisters seem to have no interest in learning more about Maggie’s emotional or inner life. Instead, they are eager to confirm their first impressions. They have decided that Maggie is a “naughty” child, and are happy to have their opinions validated by her unruly behavior.
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Just when it seems like the family quarrel has come to an end, Mr. Tulliver sends a letter to Mrs. Glegg telling her that the five hundred pounds will be repaid, and that he has no desire to ask anything of her. This letter offends Mrs. Glegg and makes the family breach impossible to repair. Worse, Mr. Tulliver now has to take out a loan for five hundred pounds from a client of Wakem’s.
It was entirely possible that Mrs. Glegg and Mr. Tulliver could have repaired their relationship. However, both are too stubborn to forgive one another. Mr. Tulliver felt humiliated by the idea of owing money to his sister-in-law, and Mrs. Glegg was offended by Mr. Tulliver’s ungratefulness. This lack of mutual compassion leads to unfortunate consequences for Mr. Tulliver, who has to take out a loan from a third party.
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