The Mill on the Floss

The Mill on the Floss

by

George Eliot

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Mr. Wakem Character Analysis

Mr. Wakem, Philip’s father, is a lawyer who incurs the hatred of Mr. Tulliver. Mr. Wakem isn’t above taking some revenge in his turn, by buying Dorlocte Mill and making Mr. Tulliver his employee. In retaliation, Mr. Tulliver beats him with a horsewhip, which only strengthens Mr. Wakem’s permanent vendetta against the Tulliver family. However, he isn’t always a cruel person: he clearly loved his wife, who has since passed away, and is very affectionate to his son Philip. When Philip bravely tells Mr. Wakem that he wants to marry Maggie, Mr. Wakem even overcomes his personal aversion to the Tullivers in order to try to facilitate Philip’s happiness.

Mr. Wakem Quotes in The Mill on the Floss

The The Mill on the Floss quotes below are all either spoken by Mr. Wakem or refer to Mr. Wakem. 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 1, Chapter 3 Quotes

“I want him to know figures, and write like print, and see into things quick, and know what folks mean, and how to wrap things up in words as aren’t actionable. It’s an uncommon fine thing […] when you can let a man know what you think of him without paying for it.”

Related Characters: Mr. Tulliver (speaker), Tom Tulliver, Mr. Wakem, Mr. Riley
Page Number: 22
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 6, Chapter 8 Quotes

“We don't ask what a woman does—we ask whom she belongs to. It's altogether a degrading thing to you to think of marrying old Tulliver’s daughter.”

Related Characters: Mr. Wakem (speaker), Maggie Tulliver, Mr. Tulliver, Philip Wakem
Page Number: 394
Explanation and Analysis:
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Mr. Wakem Character Timeline in The Mill on the Floss

The timeline below shows where the character Mr. Wakem appears in The Mill on the Floss. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 1, Chapter 13
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...now has to take out a loan for five hundred pounds from a client of Wakem’s. (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 2
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...Tulliver’s share of water power for his mill. Mr. Tulliver suspects that Mr. Pivart’s lawyer, Wakem, put Mr. Pivart up to it. Mr. Tulliver is particular enraged at Wakem because he... (full context)
Knowledge and Ignorance Theme Icon
...to “go to law” with Mr. Pivart. As this dispute unfolds, the Tullivers learn that Wakem is also sending his son to school with Tom, to study with Mr. Stelling. Despite... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 4
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...him irritable. Besides, Tom can’t forget that Philip is the son of his father’s enemy, Wakem. Tom, meanwhile, makes little progress at his education. He takes drawing lessons from a local... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 5
Women’s Roles and Social Pressures Theme Icon
...each other only when necessary, namely because Philip can’t forgive Tom for calling his father, Wakem, a rogue. Maggie, on the other hand, finds Philip very intelligent and interesting. Philip, too,... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 6
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...Maggie to be kind to the boy, but tells them to remember that he has Wakem’s blood in him too. After this admonition, Tom and Philip return to their old state... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 7
Knowledge and Ignorance Theme Icon
Women’s Roles and Social Pressures Theme Icon
...so can’t fulfill her promise. Worse, Mr. Tulliver initiates the lawsuit against Mr. Pivart, who Wakem represents. Mr. Tulliver tells Tom to avoid Philip at school. Tom, meanwhile, comes to the... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 1
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...two hundred and fifty pounds he owed him, leaving Mr. Tulliver in the lurch. Worse, Wakem urged the creditor from whom Mr. Tulliver borrowed five hundred pounds to call in his... (full context)
Memory and Childhood Theme Icon
...letter which contains disastrous news: the owner of Mr. Tulliver’s mortgage has sold everything to Wakem—making Wakem by default the creditor of everything Mr. Tulliver owns. At this news, Mr. Tulliver... (full context)
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...disliked Mr. Tulliver. Maggie, meanwhile, goes to fetch Tom from school and tells him that Wakem now has a mortgage on Dorlcote Mill. Tom is furious at this news and tells... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 4
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...apologizes to Mrs. Tulliver for leaving her poorly off. He also asks Tom to punish Wakem for what he’s done to the family. (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 7
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
Mrs. Tulliver decides to go visit Wakem to try to persuade him not to bid for Dorlcote Mill at auction. Her meeting... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 8
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...since his injury. The family isn’t sure how or when to tell him that Mr. Wakem has bought the mill and intends to employ Mr. Tulliver as his manager. The aunts... (full context)
Memory and Childhood Theme Icon
Knowledge and Ignorance Theme Icon
...least he’s given his soon “a good eddication.” Mrs. Tulliver then breaks the news that Wakem has bought the mill and land, and Mr. Tulliver must work for him. Hearing this,... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 9
Memory and Childhood Theme Icon
Mr. Tulliver decides to work for Mr. Wakem, since he wants to protect and provide for Mrs. Tulliver. Also, he is very attached... (full context)
Memory and Childhood Theme Icon
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...Tulliver calls him into the parlor. He explains that although he’s decided to submit to Wakem, he will never forgive him for what he’s done to their family. He asks Tom... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 7
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
On his way home, Mr. Tulliver encounters Mr. Wakem and proudly tells him that he won’t work for him any longer. Mr. Wakem fires... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 5
Memory and Childhood Theme Icon
...instead that Guest & Co might buy back Dorlcote Mill for him. He explains that Wakem might be willing to part with it, since the current overseer is a drunk and... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 7
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...enters the room, putting an end to the music. He asks Philip about whether Mr. Wakem has gotten tired of farming, a line of inquiry that puzzles Lucy. That night, she... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 8
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...Dorlcote Mill for Tom, thus hopefully soothing some of the enmity between the Tullivers and Wakems. Hoping that this will allow him to marry Maggie, Philip seizes the opportunity to talk... (full context)
Women’s Roles and Social Pressures Theme Icon
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
Philip shows Mr. Wakem two drawings he has made of Maggie as a girl and as a young woman.... (full context)
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
When Mr. Wakem returns to the attic, however, he is in a much calmer mood. He reflects that... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 9
Women’s Roles and Social Pressures Theme Icon
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...is selling mittens and hats that she has sewn. Lucy and Stephen observe as Mr. Wakem approaches Maggie, and Lucy whispers to Stephen that the family quarrel may soon be healed.... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 12
Women’s Roles and Social Pressures Theme Icon
...a family gathering at Mrs. Pullet’s house, in light of the good news that Mr. Wakem is willing to sell Dorlcote Mill back to Guest & Co. Mrs. Pullet and Lucy... (full context)