The Mill on the Floss

Is Tom justified in the way he reacts to Maggie's aborted elopement with Stephen?

chapter 7

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Maggie's heroic feat of strength and selflessness in her rescue of Tom reveals her true character to the stubborn, narrow-minded Tom. Tom has been insisting through the novel that Maggie recognize his right to care for her and dictate her actions, but in the end, it is Maggie who cares for both of them and shows herself capable. The depiction of Maggie's rescue of Tom recalls the story of St. Ogg's and evokes the trait of sympathy that lies at the heart of the St. Ogg parable. Maggie's extreme capacity of feeling for the plight of others is what overcomes Tom's bitter sense of justice and reunites them. The end of The Mill on the Floss signifies a return to the beginning of the novel, to Maggie's nostalgia for their childhood days when she and Tom were united. In the boat, Tom calls Maggie by her childhood name, "Magsie.