Study Guide

The Mill on the Floss Criticism

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In an 1860 issue of the Saturday Review, a reviewer commented that The Mill on the Floss, in comparison to Eliot's earlier novel Adam Bede, "shows no falling off nor any exhaustion of power." The reviewer also compared Eliot's "minuteness of painting and a certain archness of style" to the work of Jane Austen and the "wide scope of her remarks, and her delight in depicting strong and wayward feelings" to the work of Charlotte Brontë. According to this reviewer, Eliot's greatest achievement in the novel is that "for the first time in fiction, [she has] invented or disclosed the family life of the English farmer, and the class to which he belongs." By using local dialect, vivid characterization, and occasional comedy, Eliot engenders trust in the reader. In addition, the reviewer commented, she "is full of meditation on some of the most difficult problems of life," such...

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This section contains 631 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Mill on the Floss Study Guide
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The Mill on the Floss from Novels for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.