A few weeks later, Tom tells the family that he has finally earned enough money to pay off the family debts. Mr. Tulliver, Mrs. Tulliver, and Maggie are overwhelmed with joy. Tom explains that Mr. Deane has organized a dinner at a local pub with the creditors, at which time they will be paid back in full. Mr. Tulliver is delighted and wants to hear all about Tom’s business venture with Bob Jakin. That night, even after all this joy, Mr. Tulliver wakes from a nightmare and tells his wife, “I thought I’d got hold of him.”
Mr. Tulliver's dream suggests that he is still fixated on taking revenge on Mr. Wakem. This demonstrates that grudge-holding and an inability to forgive can endure despite a change in material circumstances. Even though the family debts are paid, and Mr. Tulliver has no more reason for anger and despair, he still cannot let go of his deeply held hatred and desire for revenge.