The Mill on the Floss is an autobiographical novel by George Eliot. It is set in the fictional place in England after Napoleonic Wars (1820s-1830s).
The story unfolds at Dorclote Mill on the River Floss near the village of St Ogg’s. It tells us about the difficult relationships in and between families. The central character is Maggie Tulliver, an honest and intelligent girl with strong desires.
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Although she faces the disapproval of her family during her growing up and has challenging adventures, she becomes a great strong-willed person. The characters of the novel are complex, but interesting. Firstly, Maggie Tulliver is a clever, idealistic and emotional girl. Maggie shows her love to her brother and wants him to do the same, which generates conflicts between them. She is always misunderstood by the society she lives in.
Maggie overcomes challenges from the very childhood, has unsuccessful relationship with Philip Wagner, the boy she loves, etc. Secondly, Tom Tulliver, Maggie’s brother, is severe, reserved, and judgmental with his sister, which makes her upset many times. But he is also very helpful and responsible, so he decides to start working at quite a young age in order to help his father to pay off the debts. Despite the complicated relationships between Tom and Maggie, they both love each other. Another hero I would mention is Mr Tulliver, Maggie and Tom’s father.
He is the only person to understand his daughter; he shows her tenderness and support in contrast to the rest of the family. That’s why Maggie loves him the most. Unfortunately, Mr Tulliver is in a financial hole and brings many troubles to his family. He hates his employer and ex-enemy Mr Wakem, so he forbids Maggie to love Philip Wakem, Mr Wakem’s son. Mr Tulliver’s fate is quite sad. I was extremely impressed by the Tom and Maggie’s strength, it is inspiring. Other characters were also interesting to “watch”. I think, the plot was gripping, with complicated storylines and unpredictable ending, which shocked me.
The novel caught my attention from the first page and during the reading I was filled with different emotions. So I would have no hesitation in recommending this book to everybody.