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The Mill on the Floss

George Eliot

Summary and Analysis Book 7: The Final Rescue: Conclusion


The fifth year after the flood, little trace of its desolation is visible. The autumn is "rich in golden corn-stacks"; the wharves and warehouses are busy again. But scars of the flood are still to be seen, and "uptorn trees are not rooted again." The mill has been rebuilt. In Dorlcote churchyard, near the grave of "a father whom we know," has been erected a tomb for two bodies found after the flood. The tomb has been visited by two men who felt that "their keenest joy and keenest sorrow were for ever buried there."

One of them came again years after "with a sweet face beside him." The other was always alone. On the tomb, below Tom and Maggie's names, is written, "In their death they were not divided."


This section provides a neat wrap-up of the lives of the characters through its hints at the later lives of those who remain. Stephen and Lucy marry, while Philip remains true to the memory of Maggie. Tom and Maggie return at last to their childhood relationship in the permanent reconciliation of death.