Brain Structure Differences

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 property, to
take care of household matters and without skill, originality and intelligence
of a man. Mr. Tulliver cared deeply for his daughter’s future but
inadvertently oppressed Maggie through his views of women. This idea is
represented in his dialog with Mr. Riley of Maggie’s "unnatural"
intelligence: "It’s a pity but what she’d been then lad—she’d
ha’been a match for the lawyers, she would. It’s the wonderful’st
thing." (Eliot 68) Mr. Tulliver by nature was stubborn, opinionated and led
his family to disgrace as a result. However, there is a close bond between him
and Maggie for which he had always protected her and favored her over Tom, as
much as would permit in that age. Maggie always felt a responsibility to please
her father and to never cause him any grievances. She was loyal to him at times
that he seemed to not return her affection "How she wished that [her father]
would stoke her head, or give her some sign that he was soothed by the sense
that he had a daughter who loved him!" (Eliot 371) When her father was in the
lowest point of self-ruin and was under the scrutiny of the family, Maggie took
upon the position of the protector and loyally defended her protector. "Her
father had always defended and excused her, and her loving remembrance of his
tenderness was a force within her that would enable her to do or bear anything
for his sake." (Eliot 284) Maggie’s brother, Tom, is the person of whom she
was the most fond of. She turned the cheek on some of his unkind actions toward
her in the realization of a strong, unbreakable bond. This excerpt from

"Brother and Sister" (Ashton 90) portrays the type of relationship Maggie
and Tom Tulliver have. He was the elder and a little man Of forty inches, bound
to show no dread, And I the girl that puppy-like now ran, Now lagged behind my
brother’s larger tread. "Every episode in the early chapters show Maggie’s
high hopes of pleasure being dashed by disagreements with Tom." (Ashton 75)

"Tom indeed was of opinion that Maggie was a silly little thing: all girls
were silly...still he was very fond of his sister and always meant to take care
of her." (Eliot 92) Even with this mutual love, Tom is extremely harsh of

Maggie, whose only concern is to please him and maintain closeness with him
throughout their lives. In many instances, Tom would feel his authority being
threatened by Maggie and bear insensitive punishments upon her. He shows his
rage and after his own personal interpretation and feeling, giving Maggie no
chance to defend herself. The worst punishment he could evoke upon Maggie is to
estrange himself from her and banish him from [their] home. This action in their
troubled relationship causes Tom to be callous and harsh