George Eliot's "The Mill on the Floss" Analytical Essay

George Eliot's "The Mill on the Floss"
The paper discusses the different social issues that are explored by George Eliot in her novel "The Mill on the Floss" and its relationship to England during the 1830s and the Victorian era .
# 63078 | 6,780 words | 9 sources | MLA | 2005
Published on Dec 21, 2005 in Literature (English) , English (Analysis)

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This paper explains that George Eliot in the "The Mill on the Floss"
very much reflects the 1830s in England including themes relating to social hierarchy, religion, gender, lifestyle, education, family and relationships and morals, principles and values. The author points out that Eliot demonstrates how the middle class' way of life largely dominated Victorian society by the way the novel is largely dominated by the lives of the main characters who are all middle class and represents, through the character Luke, what was expected of the working class people. The paper relates that homosexuality was a growing concern during the 19th century and most straight men strived to emphasize their masculinity. The paper points out however, that there is no evidence of homosexuality being a concern in the novel but the concern of a man being masculine enough is related in the novel, mainly through Tom, who becomes more and more manly as the novel progresses.

From the Paper:

"The Victorian age was certainly very materialistic and the people's choice of a life of materialism meant that hey grew a spiritual emptiness. There is a great relation of this throughout The Mill on the Floss. Eliot tells us that the Dodsons and Tullivers led a "sordid life" because of their lack of an "active, self-renouncing faith". Mr. Tulliver is said to have been "destitute" of the "spiritual seed"- does this suggest that if the Victorians were not brought up to be spiritual that they had no chance of acquiring spirituality later on? I do not think so, seeing as Maggie Tulliver, who throughout her whole life yearned for spiritual fulfillment, was an exception for the people of the 1830s- she came close to such a fulfillment upon being handed the "Christian Year"; however, it was not a complete fulfillment, because she soon afterwards fell back into her former life of materialism. Perhaps she is an example of one of the few Victorians who were in touch with their spiritual needs."

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