The Mill on the Floss Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Why does Mr. Tulliver change his mind about asking the Mosses to pay their debt?

2. What does Tom think of Maggie?

3. How does Mrs. Moss soften Mr. Tulliver's anger?

4. What character trait explains why Tom and Maggie won't take Bob's money?

5. What does Maggie discover when she finds the gypsies?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why is Mr. Tulliver skeptical about Tom's plan to earn money by trading, in order to pay off the family debts?

2. Why are Stephen and Maggie so sure that they should not marry?

3. Why are the townspeople at St. Ogg's not surprised when the river starts to flood?

4. Why does Maggie not choose to stay with the gypsies once she finds them?

5. How does Philip put Tom's mind at ease after the accident?

6. Why do you think that Bob and his wife choose to take Maggie in when she returns from her boat trip with Stephen?

7. "Without the beauty, we are apt to call simplicity awkwardness," writes George Eliot in chapter nine. Who is she referring to? Why does she make this comment?

8. Why does Maggie allow Philip to believe that her feelings toward him are unchanged?

9. Why do you think that Philip Wakem is able to forgive Maggie for the boat trip so easily, while many of the townspeople cannot?

10. The day that Tom comes home from school for the first time, what events occur that foreshadow the flood at the end of the book?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Critics point out that George Eliot is much like Maggie Tulliver, except that George Eliot's life is far more scandalous. She has a close relationship with her father, and also has an older brother who is somewhat protective of her. George Eliot becomes involved, outside of marriage, with John Chapman, a London publisher and bookseller who already has a wife and a mistress. Later, she opts to live with George Henry Lewes, openly, because Lewes is still married, although Lewes' wife runs away to be with her lover. Eliot knows that she is criticized publicly for this decision. She also knows that if Lewes dies, she is left alone and does not inherit his property. Still, she lives with Lewes until the day he dies. She is ostracized by some people, including her own family.

Compare the life of Maggie Tulliver to the life of George Eliot. How are they similar? How are they different? Does Eliot intend for The Mill on the Floss to be a defense of her own behavior? You may wish to offer an opinion on this question. Be sure that you back up your opinion with facts from The Mill on the Floss and from the life of George Eliot.

Essay Topic 2

Explain how Tom connects to the theme of generosity in The Mill on the Floss. How do other people treat Tom when he is in need of generosity? How does he treat others when the person in need is someone else, such as Maggie? Be sure to include examples from the book.

Essay Topic 3

When Maggie is a child, the adults around her worry about her future. Why do they worry so much about her? What is their main concern? Support your answer with details from the novel.

(see the answer keys)

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