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Study Guide

The Mill on the Floss Essay | Critical Essay #1

This Study Guide consists of approximately 134 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Mill on the Floss.
This section contains 1,870 words
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Critical Essay #1

Winters is a freelance writer. In this essay, Winters considers the conflict between self-realization and acceptance in Eliot's novel.

In Studies in the Novel, June Skye Szirotny commented that, of all Eliot's works, only in The Mill on the Floss does she "explore the conflict between self-realization and acceptance that makes for the ambivalence at the heart of all her fiction—ambivalence that she will set herself to resolve in the rest of her fiction."

This ambivalence runs, like the River Floss, throughout the novel and is the heart of Maggie's conflict with her family and society. It is made worse by the fact that "acceptance" or "love" is rarely given freely by the other characters in the book; it is always conditional. In effect, her family lets Maggie know that "[o]nly if you behave as you're supposed to will we love and accept you."

When...

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This section contains 1,870 words
(approx. 7 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Mill on the Floss Study Guide
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The Mill on the Floss from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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