The Mill on the Floss

The Mill on the Floss

by

George Eliot

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Mr. Stelling Character Analysis

Mr. Stelling is an Oxford-educated minister, a fact that is very impressive to members of the local community like Mr. Tulliver and Mr. Riley. He has great ambitions to write books and become a man of influence, but seems to have little motivation to actually write. He takes in pupils to fund his expensive lifestyle, although he is not a very gifted teacher. He is unable to find a way to engage Tom in his studies, for example, since he decides that Tom is “slow.” He teaches Latin and geometry to Tom and Philip, and only the latter excels in the classroom.

Mr. Stelling Quotes in The Mill on the Floss

The The Mill on the Floss quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. Stelling or refer to Mr. Stelling. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Memory and Childhood Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Oxford University Press edition of The Mill on the Floss published in 2015.
Book 2, Chapter 1 Quotes

“No; you couldn’t,” said Tom, indignantly. “Girls can’t do Euclid: can they, sir?”

“They can pick up a little of everything, I daresay,” said Mr. Stelling. “They’ve a great deal of superficial cleverness; but they couldn’t go far into anything. They’re quick and shallow.”

Related Characters: Tom Tulliver (speaker), Mr. Stelling (speaker), Maggie Tulliver
Page Number: 141
Explanation and Analysis:
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Mr. Stelling Character Timeline in The Mill on the Floss

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Stelling appears in The Mill on the Floss. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1, Chapter 3
Knowledge and Ignorance Theme Icon
Mr. Riley suggests that Mr. Tulliver send Tom to study with Stelling, a parson with a Master of Arts degree from Oxford, who is willing to take... (full context)
Knowledge and Ignorance Theme Icon
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
The narrator observes that Mr. Riley had no ulterior or malicious motives in recommending Stelling, as he really was attempting to help the Tulliver family. He did not actually know... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 1
Knowledge and Ignorance Theme Icon
At King’s Lorton, the house of Mr. Stelling, Tom is miserable. He had enjoyed playing with the other boys at his old school,... (full context)
Knowledge and Ignorance Theme Icon
Tom does not understand Mr. Stelling’s jokes—like a pun on the Latin word for “roast beef”—which make him feel “silly.” Mr.... (full context)
Knowledge and Ignorance Theme Icon
Women’s Roles and Social Pressures Theme Icon
Because the Stellings don’t want to pay for a second nurse, they use Tom to watch their oldest... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 2
Knowledge and Ignorance Theme Icon
...that Wakem is also sending his son to school with Tom, to study with Mr. Stelling. Despite his rage at Wakem, Mr. Tulliver is secretly pleased that his son will have... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 3
Knowledge and Ignorance Theme Icon
When Tom returns to school, Mr. Stelling informs him that he has a new companion—Philip Wakem, the fifteen-year-old son of the lawyer... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 4
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...He takes drawing lessons from a local draughtsman, Mr. Goodrich, but struggles with drawing. Mr. Stelling responds to Tom’s lack of natural ability at Latin by pushing him all the harder,... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 7
Memory and Childhood Theme Icon
Maggie, now thirteen, comes to visit Tom at Mr. Stelling’s. She tells Tom that Mr. Tulliver has lost the lawsuit with Mr. Pivart and will... (full context)