Brain Structure Differences Essay Research Paper It

Brain Structure Differences Essay, Research Paper

It is said that George Eliot?s style of writing deals with much realism.

Eliot, herself meant by a ?realist? to be ?an artist who values the truth

of observation above the imaginative fancies of writers of ?romance? or

fashionable melodramatic fiction.? (Ashton 19) This technique is artfully

utilized in her writings in a way which human character and relationships are

dissected and analyzed. In the novel The Mill on the Floss, Eliot uses the

relationships of the protagonist of the story, Miss Maggie Tulliver, as a medium

in which to convey various aspects of human social associations. It seems that

as a result of Maggie?s nature and of circumstances presented around her, that

she is never able to have a connection with one person that satisfies her

multifaceted needs and desires. Maggie is able, to some extent, to explore the

various and occasionally conflicting aspects of her person with her

relationships between other characters presented in the novel. ?From an early

age, Maggie needs approval from men…Maggie is not shown in any deep

relationship with a female friend.? (Ashton 83) A reader can explore into

Maggie Tulliver?s person and her short development as a woman in four primary

male associations: her father?Mr. Tulliver, her brother?Tom Tulliver, her

friend and mentor?Philip Wakem and her dangerous passion with Steven Guest.

Maggie unconditionally loves her father although he has been the unconscious

root of many of her misfortunes. ?Tom?s and Maggie?s young lives are

blighted by the gloom, poverty, disgrace and death of their father…Maggie is

obliged by her father?s failure to leave school…It is the misfortune of a

clever girl denied any activity other than domestic.? (Ashton 50) In the time

period of the setting of the novel, women were regarded as male property, to

take care of household matters and without skill, originality and intelligence

of a man. Mr. Tulliver cared deeply for his daughter?s future but

inadvertently oppressed Maggie through his views of women. This idea is

represented in his dialog with Mr. Riley of Maggie?s ?unnatural?

intelligence: ?It?s a pity but what she?d been then lad?she?d

ha?been a match for the lawyers, she would. It?s the wonderful?st

thing.? (Eliot 68) Mr. Tulliver by nature was stubborn, opinionated and led

his family to disgrace as a result. However, there is a close bond between him

and Maggie for which he had always protected her and favored her over Tom, as

much as would permit in that age. Maggie always felt a responsibility to please

her father and to never cause him any grievances. She was loyal to him at times

that he seemed to not return her affection ?How she wished that [her father]

would stoke her head, or give her some sign that he was soothed by the sense

that he had a daughter who loved him!? (Eliot 371) When her father was in the

lowest point of self-ruin and was under the scrutiny of the family, Maggie took

upon the position of the protector and loyally defended her protector. ?Her

father had always defended and excused her, and her loving remembrance of his

tenderness was a force within her that would enable her to do or bear anything

for his sake.? (Eliot 284) Maggie?s brother, Tom, is the person of whom she

was the most fond of. She turned the cheek on some of his unkind actions toward

her in the realization of a strong, unbreakable bond. This excerpt from

?Brother and Sister? (Ashton 90) portrays the type of relationship Maggie

and Tom Tulliver have. He was the elder and a little man Of forty inches, bound

to show no dread, And I the girl that puppy-like now ran, Now lagged behind my

brother?s larger tread. ?Every episode in the early chapters show Maggie?s

high hopes of pleasure being dashed by disagreements with Tom.? (Ashton 75)

?Tom indeed was of opinion that Maggie was a silly little thing: all girls

were silly…still he was very fond of his sister and always meant to take care

of her.? (Eliot 92) Even with this mutual love, Tom is extremely harsh of

Maggie, whose only concern is to please him and maintain closeness with him

throughout their lives. In many instances, Tom would feel his authority being

threatened by Maggie and bear insensitive punishments upon her. He shows his

rage and after his own personal interpretation and feeling, giving Maggie no

chance to defend herself. The worst punishment he could evoke upon Maggie is to

estrange himself from her and banish him from [their] home. This action in their

troubled relationship causes Tom to be callous and harsh and raises the

possibility for Maggie to be isolated in the world. ?You will find no home

with me…You have been a curse to your best friends…I wash my hands of you

forever. You don?t belong to me!? (Eliot 612) Till the dire years whose

awful name is change Had grasped our soul still yearning in divorce, And

pitiless shaped them in two forms that range Two elements which sever their

life?s course. This excerpt taken from the same poem is significant of the

divided views and paths of these two siblings. The only thing Maggie desired was

to have no ?cloud between herself and Tom.? (Eliot 577) Despite all of the

hardships that Tom had inflicted in Maggie, the possibility of his danger during

the flood sparked the natural protective nature in Maggie as she laboriously

fought the river to Tom?s house in a small boat. As seen before in times of

great dispair, they put aside their differences and forgave each other without

saying a word. In their unfortunate ending, their mutual love was shown as ?an

embrace never to be parted? (Eliot 655) ?Tom and Maggie must be reconciled

in Death, where they could not be in life.? (Ashton 92) One of the major

arguments between Tom and Maggie resulted in her friendship with Philip Wakem.

Tom furiously hated Philip as a result of his father, Mr. Wakem, which Tom

regarded as an accomplice to his father?s and his family?s downfall. Maggie

was given strict orders to stay clear of all Wakem accompaniments. However,

good-natured Maggie saw goodness in Philip that he was not associated with his

father?s actions. They developed a close friendship where Philip resultantly

developed a deep love for Maggie that exceeded the bounds of their comradeship.

?Philip is from their schooldays a brotherly figure for Maggie, a loving

substitute for Tom…Maggie’s feelings for him will fall short of passion;

though he is a more satisfactory brother figure.? (Ashton 92) In this

relationship, Maggie finds the love she has yearned for from her own brother,

however it is complicated from external issues and irrational thought of a lover

status by Philip. Philip provided education and moral support for Maggie during

their time together and she regarded him very dear. Philip can relate to

Maggie?s inferior status as a woman because he has been plagued by a physical

deformity and therefore is inferior to society. ?He is marganalized by his

deformity as women are marginalized by their gender.? (Carlisle 7) As their

relationship progressed, it is threatened by another force: the appearance of

Steven Guest. Steven Guest can provide the aspect of passion for Maggie that

Philip cannot provide. In their first interaction Steven felt an instant

attraction for her, as she for him. ?For one instant Stephen could not conceal

his astonishment at the sight of this tall, dark-eyed nymph with her jet-back

coronet of hair, the next, Maggie felt herself, for the first time in her life,

receiving the tribute of a very deep blush and a very deep bow from a person

towards she herself was conscious of timidity.? (Eliot 484) Steven complicates

Maggie?s life because his attraction is also irrational?he is courting her

loving and dear cousin. Maggie is aware of the danger in these passions and

takes great effort not to partake in them, on an external display. Maggie stated

that she would rather take death than to participate in temptations that could

hurt so many people: Herself, Steven, Lucy?her cousin and Philip. How little

she did not know of the disastrous effects it would have on a more broad scale.

As time progresses, both Steven and Maggie find it more difficult to hide such

attractions for each other and eventually Steven makes a thoughtless gesture

that the two of them should be together…forever. Maggie?s conscious and her

inability to directly cause grief to her loved ones overcomes her strong sexual

attraction for Steven and the prospects of a free life with him. This action

causes the complexities of their relation to be exposed to the general public,

the public to pass ill judgment on her and begins the second major dispute

between her and her and Tom. Steven is said to ?be a catalyst in the primary

drama between brother and sister? (Ashton 52) This is an accurate statement

because tension was already established between Maggie and Tom and if it were

not for Steven, it would have been another thing to cause further conflicts.

?It is perhaps worth remarking that he is the literary descendant to other

energetic, simple, sexually powerful men in novels who create quite complex

problems for women whose alternative lovers are perhaps more sensitive.? (Byatt

690) Despite of her short and problematic life, Maggie Tulliver has the

opportunities to explore various aspects of her personality and womanhood in her

variety of relationships especially with male characters. She was able cherish

the forgiving love of a father, which made so much impact on her life. She was

able to experience virtually unpressured friendship and intellectual stimulation

from her beloved friend Philip. She experienced a glimpse of sexual identity and

attraction with her relations with Steven Guest that unfortunately caused them

both much pain. Maggie was also allowed to experience the type of love that can

exist between siblings, despite all of their disagreements, Maggie and Tom were

able to realize that their bond was deeper than could have been imagined. George

Eliot artfully created such relationships in this novel in a successful method

to analyze and probe into the complexities of human interaction. This comes

along with the message that it may be possible to have everything that one may

want in life, just not all at once or at the same time.

Works Cited Ashton, Rosemary. The Mill on the Floss: A Natural History.

Twayne?s Masterwork Studies. Boston, G.K. Hall & Co. 1990 Byatt, A.S.

?The Placing of Steven Guest?. Appendix, The Mill on the Floss, Middlesex,

Blays Ltd, St Printing; Penguin Classics. 1979 Carlisle, Janice. ?The Mirror

In the Mill on the Floss; Toward Reading of Autobiography Discourse?. Studies

in the Literary Imagination. Vol 23:Issue 2. [EBSCO] Masterfile Premier 1990

Edinborough and London. ?Brother and Sister? The Legend of Jubal and Other

Poems. London, Blackwood 1874 Eliot, George. The Mill on the Floss. Middlesex,

Penguin English Library, 1979.


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