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Maggie and Dorothea: Reparation and Working Through in George Eliot's Novels

Maggie and Dorothea: Reparation and Working Through in George Eliot's Novels The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, Vol. 59, No. 3, 1999 MAGGIE AND DOROTHEA: REPARATION AND WORKING THROUGH IN GEORGE ELIOT'S NOVELS Ignes Sodre An artistic flaw in a novel by a great writer may remain in the author's mind as a problem to be resolved in a later work. I believe that this is what happens with the ending of The Mill on the Floss, which has been much criticized because it does follow from the psychological development of the main character, Maggie Tulliver, but provides a contrived solution that gratifies Maggie's needs on an infantile level—and, through identification, George Eliot's needs as well. The issues that are not resolved in The Mill on the Floss are worked through more successfully 11 years later in Dor- othea's story in Middlemarch. Whereas George Eliot failed to portray the realistic consequences of Maggie's personality and behavior, her portrayal of Dorothea's more mature solution fulfilled a reparative task and resulted in a more satisfying work of art. THE ENDING OF THE MILL ON THE FLOSS: MAGGIE'S DEATH The Mill on the Floss is George Eliot's most autobiographical novel. It is well known that Maggie's childhood and her relationship with Tom are closely http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The American Journal of Psychoanalysis Springer Journals

Maggie and Dorothea: Reparation and Working Through in George Eliot's Novels

The American Journal of Psychoanalysis , Volume 59 (3) – Oct 16, 2004

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Publisher
Springer Journals
Copyright
Copyright © 1999 by Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis
Subject
Psychology; Clinical Psychology; Psychotherapy; Psychoanalysis
ISSN
0002-9548
eISSN
1573-6741
DOI
10.1023/A:1021405324800
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The American Journal of Psychoanalysis, Vol. 59, No. 3, 1999 MAGGIE AND DOROTHEA: REPARATION AND WORKING THROUGH IN GEORGE ELIOT'S NOVELS Ignes Sodre An artistic flaw in a novel by a great writer may remain in the author's mind as a problem to be resolved in a later work. I believe that this is what happens with the ending of The Mill on the Floss, which has been much criticized because it does follow from the psychological development of the main character, Maggie Tulliver, but provides a contrived solution that gratifies Maggie's needs on an infantile level—and, through identification, George Eliot's needs as well. The issues that are not resolved in The Mill on the Floss are worked through more successfully 11 years later in Dor- othea's story in Middlemarch. Whereas George Eliot failed to portray the realistic consequences of Maggie's personality and behavior, her portrayal of Dorothea's more mature solution fulfilled a reparative task and resulted in a more satisfying work of art. THE ENDING OF THE MILL ON THE FLOSS: MAGGIE'S DEATH The Mill on the Floss is George Eliot's most autobiographical novel. It is well known that Maggie's childhood and her relationship with Tom are closely

Journal

The American Journal of PsychoanalysisSpringer Journals

Published: Oct 16, 2004

References