George Mills Summary
Stanley Elkin

Everything you need to understand or teach George Mills by Stanley Elkin.

  • George Mills Summary & Study Guide

George Mills Summary

The key themes of the novel concern history itself, as a determinant of human fate, and thus the larger issue of individual freedom to create oneself.

The problematic curse on the Mills family is to a degree their own acceptance of its inevitability, or of history's power to repress and determine our lives. The current George Mills, although overtly less promising than his ancestors, has come to his own way of dealing with history, and progresses to a state Elkin describes at the end of the sermon George gives as the novel concludes as, "relieved of history as an amnesiac."

The novel further associates the escape from history's trap with grace and with denial of life-creating forces.

In an elementary way, the current Mills escapes history's trap by refusing to pass on his flawed birthright.

All his ancestors wanted sons and heirs, who would also be auditors for...

(read more from the Short Guide)

Study Pack

The George Mills Study Pack contains:

George Mills Short Guide