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Maggie Tulliver: Divided Needs Represented in Diverse Relations

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 prope…

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