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Essay Instructions: Please only use ** The NORTON CRITICAL EDITION of The Mill on the Floss edited by Carol T. Christ **
**Use only hard sources** absolutely nothing from the Gale network or other internet sites....only books easily found within the library!!! Also be sure to adhere strictly to the **MLA Format** FORMAT IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT AS IS A FOCUSED THESIS AND WELL BALANCED, WELL WRITTEN PAPER
Analyze, Explain, and explore the appearance of the voodoo fetish doll owned by Maggie Tulliver in Gerorge Eliot's Mill on the Floss. Cite other references to the occult and the devil and place it in context within the novel and also within the realm of George Eliots aims in writing the novel and how it affects her life and religious beliefs personally.
DEFINE WHAT VOO DOO is! What did people know or think if it in George Eliot's time? Does it appaear in other works of literature? Where did Eliot her of VooDoo? Did she believe in it? Place it in context within the vibrant character and moral guide of Maggie Tulliver and George Eliot herself! Apply Eliot's personal beliefs and her over all objective in writing The Mill on The Floss! What is the real significance of the Voo Doo Doll and references to the DEVIL! Does good or evil play a role in the novel and if so, which triumphs in the end!!! Utilize very specific passages from the Norton Critical Edition of The Mill on the Floss that pertain to VooDoo, The Devil, and the occult then put religion in context with Maggies character and George Eliot herself! **Be sure to adhere strictly to the MLA Format and create a concise, well-formed thesis statement that will carry the paper from the first page to the twelfth!!! Use only hard sources** No INTERNET**
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Essay Instructions: I applied for Victorian Literature MA, and they wanted an
essay of 500 words from me. I mentioned North and South in my personal statement, so I want it to be on this book.But I couldn't decide which subject it would particularly be on.It can be about class conscious, Margaret's role as making us witness two different classes, or something like this.I will send my research paper which involve this book. I would like you to include some pieces from it.
Here is the source:
Industrialism and Women?s Role in North and South and The Mill on the Floss
In nineteenth century England, also known as the ??Victorian Age,?? English novel is especially marked by the social and cultural atmosphere of the same age. George Eliot?s The Mill on the Floss and Elizabeth Gaskell?s North and South are very good examples of this. These two novels give insights to the industrialism and also to the conditions of people of that era including the role of middle class women. However, their approaches to industrialism are different from each other. Julian Wolfreys argues that ??what distinguishes the novels here is their interest in representations of class and labour relations?? (65) . Eliot portrays a pessimistic picture of developing England and clings to past regarding the working class as a class desperately in search of its place in life. Nevertheless, Gaskell chooses to appreciate the past while accepting the future of new England and considers the working class as no inferior than the owners and focuses on the creativity and energy of industrialism. Through the examination of up-growing England?s conditions, the two novelists achieve to give clear pictures of women?s role in the Victorian society with the help of their heroines. The purpose of this essay is to discuss Elizabeth Gaskell?s North and South and George Eliot?s The Mill on the Floss in the light of industrialism and women?s role in the nineteenth century England.
19th Century can not be thought of without the Industrial Revolution and the radical changes it brought with it since the Victorian society was marked by the up growing force of industrialism. Industrialism showed its first effects on England, and its process of becoming industrialized was not an easy one. Regardless of all developments, people felt that something
was missing. They were made alien to their own surrounding by the technological changes. In the 19th Century England, the lifestyle based on the ownership of land was changed into a new urban economy based on manufacturing and trade. (Abrams. 727-728) Until the end of 18th Century the main source of wealth was agriculture but than this left its place to mechanised production of goods. Moreover, Industrial Revolution unsettled the class structures that had long lived (Stoneman. vi-vii) . ??The experience of class in nineteenth-century Britain would have an impact around the world, particularly through its analysis in the writings of Karl Marx.?? says James E. Adams?? (19) which once again reminds us the famous quotation ??The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.? which Karl Marx states in his book The Communist Manifesto. Michael McKeon, the writer of The Origins of the English Novel, mentions in his book to the duality of Marx?s usage of the word ??class?? by saying:
On the one hand, Marx employs ??class?? as an abstract term to describe a kind of socioeconomic relation and conflict that is generally characteristic of all human societies. On the other hand, the category describes a very particular historical reality, that of modern industrial capitalism, whose particularity is registered by the fact, that is, of class-consciousness. (164)
In The Mill on the Floss, we see the story of the Tulliver family losing their ??class?? while in North and South we witness the Hale family?s struggle to gain ??class??.
III. The Mill on the Floss
A. Introduction to the novel
In George Eliot?s The Mill on the Floss, published in 1860, there is a picture of a patriarchal Victorian family, the Tulliver family, unable to cope with the demands and the challenges of up growing capitalism. Throughout the novel the dominant feeling is longing for the past which shapes all their lives. ??I desire no future that will break the ties of the past?? says Maggie Tulliver and clearly reveals her devotion to the past (397). As Josephine
McDonagh states, Eliot?s early novels, including The Mill on the Floss, ??tend to linger on the past in ways that make them seem more nostalgic and regretful of change than the later works??. This change is the novelty of up growing industry. The novel instantly starts with a flashback which is a description of Dorlcote Mill depicting the difference between idyllic and modern worlds. At this point we see that there is a longing for peaceful rural days. Before the Industrial Revolution, England was mostly rural and by the mid-19th Century, half of the people in England were already living in cities. In the novel, the peaceful rural days are preferred to the ones that belong to the industrial era. The writer asks ??what novelty is worth that sweet monotony where everything is known, and loved because it is known??? (36) . This question makes us sense that the characters may have problems with what is not known, in fact the conformity of what is lived and known that is the past rules over the characters later on when they have to face with the new. In their case, sticking too much to the past is an act of defence when they are not able to face with the new conditions of life and thus need the safety of what is known.
B. Decline of Mr. Tulliver
Mr. Tulliver is an educated man but he does not succeed in coping with the new problems and requirements of the capitalism which results in his catastrophe; that is his bankruptcy. In the novel, Mr. Tulliver's economic downfall is depicted within the perspective of the increased materialism of the developing England in the first half of the nineteenth century. Throughout the novel, he constantly refers to the world they live in as a ??puzzling world??. This shows that Mr. Tulliver is simply stuck into the past and not able to solve the new world?s problems. Even though Mr. Tulliver himself can not achieve to do that, he is still eager to give his son Tom a proper education fitting to the new social requirements which shows that he still has a hope for life, at least for his son. Tom?s strong character seems to fit to the new capitalist world and he is grown up to be a dominant figure, yet his cling to the past makes him also unsuccessful.
C. Two Victorian Women
1. Maggie Tulliver
If it would have been his sister Maggie who had been given a proper education, the result might be the success. However, the conventional belief that the female child should not be allowed to have an education that is accepted for the male child capes Mr. Tulliver from making a decision on his daughter?s further education. In the Victorian society, females received less education than males. Although this was the case, Mr. Tulliver was very aware of Maggie?s bright intelligence but just not progressive enough to make use of it. On the other hand, Mrs. Tulliver, spoils Tom a lot while considering Maggie as ??half an idiot??. The very attention that Tom gets from his family highlights the fact that the girls are not considered valuable in the Victorian society. Tom is always highly tolerated and seemed to be superior to Maggie.
Maggie is an unconventional girl who has an independent and untameable spirit. Her discomfort and dislike of commonly accepted Victorian values separates her from the society from the very early age. She always fights to be an individual. This is not the same in Tom?s case since he was already accepted as an individual thanks to his gender. Unfortunately, she is not strong Maggie also fights to find her own place in society which seems hard for her to do because she draws such an unconventional picture of a girl. We see little Maggie reading ?The History of the Devil? by Daniel Defoe or wandering around the waterside alone which are not normal activities to do for someone of her age. Her mother Mrs. Tulliver wants her to be ?like other folks?s children?. She wants Maggie to do her patchwork which Maggie finds a ??foolish work?? because they ??tear things to pieces to sew them again?? (11) or wants her to have a properly done hair covered with bonnet to which Maggie responds by cutting her hair short. She is definitely someone of a free spirit and not likely to fit any norms. When her relatives says that she looks like a gypsy not only because of her complexion but also of her uncontrollable behaviours, she runs away and decides to live with gypsies. Maggie?s mother
constantly compares her with her sister?s daughter Lucy who is a true Victorian girl with all her beauty and silence and who is someone that Maggie would never be.
2. Mrs. Tulliver
In contrast to Maggie, Mrs. Tulliver is the epitome of conventionality. She comes from a family that is respected, wealthy and influential. With her mildness, submissiveness and good looks, she epitomizes the commonly accepted Victorian values. In the following passage we see how Mrs. Tulliver is portrayed:
Mrs. Tulliver was what is called a good-tempered person ? never cried, when she was a baby, on any slighter ground than hunger and pins; and from the cradle upwards had been healthy, fair, plump, and dull-witted; in short, the flower of the family for beauty and amiability. But milk and mildness are not the best things for keeping, and when they turn only a little sour, they may disagree with young stomachs seriously. (11)
In this description, George Eliot effectively manages to reflect Mrs. Tulliver?s personality.
Thanks to the description we clearly see that Mrs. Tulliver is the symbol of the idyllic Victorian past with all her beauty and submissiveness as a woman. She is a woman of an average intelligence which we witness over and over again when she is not able to create her individual ideas or to find any solutions to the problems of her family. As for the milk image, it again symbolizes her submissiveness and abnormal softness. However, this characteristic of hers do not count in that new world and she becomes ?sour?. This idyllic Victorian past should not be brought to the future. In the novel, we see Mrs. Tulliver remembering time to time the life before she is married and boasting with her family, the Dodsons. This again shows that she lives in the past and not able to handle with the future of the new world.
D. The end of the novel
At the end of the novel, the flood occurs and Tom and Maggie dies together in their homeland. I believe that this end symbolizes their return to the past, to their childhood which
they have been longing for too long. After suffering a lot as grown up individuals because of the cruel new world, they unite at least in their death in a mood of childhood which is beautifully described by Eliot although in a pathetic way by the following lines: ??Brother and sister had gone down in an embrace never to be parted: living through again in on supreme moment, the days when they had clasped their little hands in love, and roamed the daisied fields together.?? (467) .
IV. North and South
A. Implications and significance of ?north? and ?south?
Writers of the 1840?s and early 1850?s, such as Elizabeth Gaskell, showed the most remarkable attitude towards the industrialism and what it had brought to the foreground (Abrams. 732) . One of the results of this attitude was North and South, the title of which gives us a clear idea about the subject. ?The North? in the mid-Victorian novel, apart from being only a place, is the epitome of everything related to industrialism including capitalistic values. It was usually considered as the location of working class. On the other hand, ?The South?, in industrial novels, is a place far away from everything ?The North? epitomizes. It is distant to ?The North? not only physically but also in the idea. It was usually considered as the location of educated, well bred middle class (Ingham. viii) . Thanks to its landscape, the North became the centre of industrialism and thus the future. South, on the other hand, began to represent the past. North and South was emerged in this period as a novel focusing on social problems (Stoneman. vi-vii) .
B. Introduction to the novel
In the novel, the Hale family belongs to the past and do not know how to cope with the new just like the Tulliver family in The Mill on the Floss. North and South starts in the South and continues with the heroine Margaret Hale?s going to London and then finally to North where she meets the new type of capitalist owner Mr. Thornton. Capitalism is an economic system in which a country?s trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit,
rather than by the state and capitalist is the one who support this system. Gaskell?s views on this issue are given directly through Margaret.
Margaret?s father Mr.Hale questions his faith and as a result of his religious doubts he decides to no longer work for the Church of England where he was a vicar. Then, Mr.Hale moves from the happy southern town Helstone to northern industrial town Milton where they search of a way to survive as ??The future must be met, however stern and iron it be.?? (55) .
The closer they get to Milton, the better we get the portrait of a gloomy industrial town as they see ??a deep lead coloured cloud hanging over the horizon in the direction in which it lay. It was all the darker in contrast with the pale grey-blue of the wintry sky [?] . Nearer to the town, the air had a faint taste and smell of smoke; perhaps, after all, more a loss of the fragrance of grass and herbage than any positive taste or smell.?? (55) . This picture is definitely the opposite of the peaceful and untouched nature of Helstone.
C. Understanding of owner-worker relationship
Nevertheless, it does not change Margaret?s attitude towards people in that town. She becomes friends with a girl named Bessy Higgins who works at a factory. Bessy has a lung disease because of polluted air and bad working conditions and finds consolation in Margaret?s kind and sincere manners. Through Bessy and her father Nicholas Higgins we get deeper understanding of the conditions of the labourers. Karl Marx sees labourers as soldiers placed under the command of a hierarchy of officers and sergeants. He thinks that the laborers are enslaved by the industry (1361) which is true especially in our context. They consistently work in spite of the dreadful conditions and still do not reach to a better situation which at last makes them decide to strike, yet this makes no use either. ?At times?o strike there?s much to knock a man down, for all they start so hopefully; and where?s the comfort to come fro???(128) explains Bessy about her father?s desperate situation. She considers the struggle between the masters and workers as ?th? great battle o? Armageddon? (141) . These depressing
conditions put the working class in such a vicious circle that it was a common act to drink in
those times which Friedrich Engels explains as ??he must have something to make work worth his trouble, to make the prospect of the next day endurable?? (133) . This is only one of the bad deeds that was the result of terrible conditions and exhausting class struggle.
The key to Elizabeth Gaskell?s understanding of class relations is hidden in the response of Margaret Hale to Mr. Thornton?s question ??[?]have I any right to obtrude my views of the manner in which he shall act, upon another,[?], merely because he has labour to sell and I capital to buy???(p. 114; ch. XV) which she replies by saying:
Not in the least, not in the least because of your labour and capital positions,
whatever they are, but because you are a man, dealing with a set of men over whom
you have, whether you reject the use of it or not, immense power, just because your
lives and your welfare are so constantly and intimately interwoven. God has made us
so that we must be mutually dependent. We may ignore our own dependence, or
refuse to acknowledge that others depend upon us in more respects than the payment
[?] . Neither you nor other master can help yourselves. The most proudly
independent man depends on those around him. (114-115)
At this point, we see that Gaskell approaches to master-worker relationship from an unexpected view. This brand new idea was definitely a very unconventional way of thinking at the time it was written. Elizabeth Gaskell focuses on the mutual dependence of the owner to the workers by not regarding the owner as the dominant and the one in power or the worker as the dependent and weak one. She considers both the owner and the worker equal and dependent to each other. Gaskell takes attention to dependence shared equally by both the owner and the workers.
D. Urban versus rural
In the same conversation, we also see Margaret saying ??I see two classes dependent on
each other in every possible way, yet each evidently regarding the interests of the other as opposed to their own; I never lived in a place before where there were two sets of people
running each other down.?? (111) . This points to the difference of attitudes in two parts of England. We know that Margaret comes from South and in such rural places people on the whole live in harmony and treat each other considerately as if treating one of their close relatives. This attitude can hardly be found in a place like Milton. Because in such a urban place, people find it hard to survive and tend to not care about others.
E. Margaret Hale as a Victorian woman
In the novel, Margaret is contrasted to her cousin Edith constantly in the same way Maggie is contrasted to Lucy in The Mill on the Floss. Margaret?s personality is given as a contrast to hypocritical atmosphere of Victorian society. Because of her independent and strong character she reminds us more of a man in terms of this context. She fights for her rights and strongly holds on to what she believes that is true. Surely, the very conditions of her life intensified these characteristics of Margaret. We see her speaking her mind so many times in such cases like the strike that we over and over again witness that she is in no way a conventional Victorian woman who prefers to be silent in such manly issues.
F. The end of the novel
At the end of the novel, Miss Hale and Mr. Thornton gets married which, in my opinion, symbolize the unity of north and south, in other words the harmony of urban and rural. Throughout the novel, wee see Margaret both on the side of the working class and the capital class. She looks at the two sides from various aspects and questions them without supporting any particular sides. So, especially through Margaret, Elizabeth Gaskell achieves to give us accurate ideas on the issues of industrialism. In the end, Margaret manages to make Mr. Thornton understand the working class better and being someone of a middle class she unites two sides together by marrying to him.
In my humble opinion, in the two novels I mentioned which belongs to nineteenth century, we see how their plot stems from the realities of that era, in fact they are the pure
reflections of it. I think that literature can be, in no way, seperated from the life itself. According to Josephine Guy, there is a shared ??attempt to explain social-problem novels in terms of historical circumstances which produce them?? (qtd. in Wolfreys) . I agree with this statement considering such an approach to novels is quite right. Because we can not separate them from their historical context in which they flourished. These novels would not be the same if there wouldn?t be any Industrial Revolution or the class struggle since their plot is based on these. In both George Eliot?s The Mill on the Floss and Elizabeth Gaskell?s North and South we get a clear picture of nineteenth century atmosphere. Moreover, their different approaches to the subject opens us a new window. We see Eliot reflecting the problems of more developing England by drawing a gloomy picture. On the other hand, we find Gaskell not only reflecting the gloominess of the era but also regarding the growing capitalism as a source of energy without reducing it to mere negativity which seems more likely to come into terms with today?s views.
Abrams, M. H. ??The Victorian Age.?? The Norton Anthology of English Literature.
Ed. M. H. Abrams. New York: Norton, 1968. 727-747.
??Capitalism.?? The Oxford Advanced Learner?s Dictionary. 5th ed. 1995.
Eliot, George. The Mill on the Floss. Hertfordshire: Wordsworth, 1995.
Engels, Friedrich. The Condition of the Working Class in England. London: Penguin, 1987.
Gaskell, Elizabeth. Introduction. North and South. By Patricia Ingham. London: Penguin,
Gaskell, Elizabeth C. Introduction. North and South. By Dr. Patsy Stoneman. Hertfordshire:
Wordsworth, 1994. v-xvii.
Marx, Karl and Friedrich Engels. ??Bourgeois and Proletarians.?? The Norton Anthology of
English Literature. Ed. M. H. Abrams. New York: Norton, 1968. 1355-1357.
McKeon, Michael. ??From Status To Class.?? The Origins of the English Novel: 1600-1740.
Ed. Michael McKeon. Baltimore: John Hopkins UP., 1988. 162-167.
O?Gorman, Francis, ed. A Concise Companion to the Victorian Novel. Malden: Blackwell,
Wolfreys, Julian. Introduction. Companion to the Victorian Novel. Ed.William Baker. CT:
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