Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical (hermionesviolin) wrote,
Elizabeth Scripturient (the delinquent, ecumenical
hermionesviolin

raging about the end of The Mill on the Floss

What the hell is up with Maggie and Stephen? My impression after Philip and Maggie tell each other that they love each other was that they were in fact in love with each other. Then later, okay, we see Stephen falling in love with Maggie. My impression was that Maggie only thought of him as a friend. Then Stephen starts really coming on to her, and after he tells her he loves her he kept doing things where i worried he was practically gonna rape her (of course this being good nineteenth century literature i knew that wouldn’t happen, but still) and i was having serious creep/fear issues (remember how i felt about Mr. Crawford and Fanny in Mansfield Park?). Then Stephen does his scary run (row?) away with her thing and during one of their arguments she tells him “I do feel for Philip – in a different way” and suddenly it seems like she really is in love with Stephen but she won’t let them get married because he’s practically engaged to her dear friend Lucy and she’s sort of tied to Philip. Um, where the fuck did the whole “Maggie is in love with Stephen” thing come from?

AND THEN, an ending worse than the cop-out non-ending of Zadie Smith’s White Teeth. Unfair, i tell you.

It's your fire, it's your soul, you shouldn't have to go. (Dar Williams, "Your Fire Your Soul")

To have taken ****** by the hand and said, ‘I will not believe unproved evil of you: my lips shall not utter it; my ears shall be closed against it. I, too, am an erring mortal, liable to stumble, apt to come short of my most earnest efforts. Your lot has been harder than mine, your temptation greater. Let us help each other to stand and walk without more falling’ – to have done this would have demanded courage, deep pity, self-knowledge, generous trust – would have demanded a mind that tasted no piquancy in evil-speaking, that felt no self-exaltation in condemning, that cheated itself with no large words into the belief that life can have any moral end, any high religion, which excludes the striving after perfect truth, justice, and love towards the individual men and women who come across our own path.
-George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss
"A book is a version of the world. If you do not like it, ignore it; or offer your own version in return."
-Salman Rushdie
‘Character’ – says Novalis, in one of his questionable aphorisms – ‘character is destiny.’ But not the whole of our destiny. Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, was speculative and irresolute, and we have a great tragedy in consequence. But if his father had lived to a good old age, and his uncle had died an early death, we can conceive Hamlet’s having married Ophelia and got through life with a reputation of sanity notwithstanding many soliloquies, and some moody sarcasms towards the fair daughter of Polonius, to say nothing of the frankest incivility to his father-in-law.
-George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss
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