Familial Connections In Helen Edmundson's The Mill On The Floss

Good Essays
Familial ties are what has the most influence on a person. In The Mill on the Floss, written by Helen Edmundson, Tom was the most influential person in shaping Maggie because she loved him greatly. Each time she changes herself it is triggered by Tom’s actions and each version of Maggie portrays a different aspect of Tom’s influences. Ultimately, Tom is the reason that Maggie changes herself this can be seen in many of their interactions.
From the beginning of the play, it can be seen how much love Maggie holds for Tom. She was always completely affectionate towards, often running up to him and kissing him. In scene four, after Maggie has cut her hair and everyone is laughing at her, the stage directions say, “Maggie goes to Tom for
…show more content…
This is the first time in the play where she begins to speak for herself against Tom, at least at the end of the scene. It first starts out with her a Phillip professing their love for each other then Tom interrupting and demanding Maggie choose between them (Edmundson, 49-51). It is not until “he seizes her wrist and pulls her” (Edmundson, 51) away from Phillip that Maggie realizes that Tom is a bad influence on her. She realizes how he has never shown her the affection and love that she always willingly gave to him. At this point, she breaks from her submissive self to stand up to Tom. Maggie becomes version that falls in between First and Second Maggie: she is more certain of herself and settled into who she is. He is the one that forces her to change into this new person with renewed views on the world. Even though this Third Maggie has distanced herself from Tom, she still feels indebted to him. She seeks him out to ask permission to see Phillip after all this time. Tom still has power over her with the promise she made years ago that she cannot break. This promise would be the easiest to break without Tom even knowing what is going on because she has distanced herself from him. In this moment, when she has the upper hand of the situation, Maggie still puts herself beneath Tom and submits to his will. She says to him, “I do love you, so much. I won’t be naughty I promise I won’t. Please be good to me” (Edmundson, 63). Her
Get Access