Monday, January 28, 2013

The Mill on the Floss aka I love my brother SO much

Honestly, I have no clue why I ever think George Eliot stories are going to end well. Maybe Middle March got my hopes up too high, but obvs with Daniel Deronda, and now The Mill on the Floss, Eliot just loves to squash anything and everything good in a really self destructive way. (Why do I always think Ethan Froam is Eliot? Probs bc it's awful).
Ok, The Mill on the Floss. Maggie is SUPER close to her brother Tom. Their father is in a death feud with Philip's father. When they grow up their father's mill is sold to Philip's and the dad eventually dies. Philip's in love with Maggie, but Maggie promises Tom she won't see Philip. Eventually she gets permission to see Philip and they get the mill back, but oh darn, Maggie has fallen in love with her cousin Lucy's fiance Stephen (what?!). She eventually goes on an extended boating trip with Stephen (a whole afternoon!) and ruins herself, but not really. They just sat on a big boat together, which is so much worse than a small one. Philip forgives her, Stephen still wants her, she denies herself Stephen will hurt Lucy? But Lucy's also forgiven Maggie so....? Eventually there's a flood and Maggie paddles over to Tom and he tries to jump into her boat but they both drown. Ta da!
Wikipedia tells me there is more to all of this in the book, big surprise, but obviously a 2 hour film has made cuts.

Da heck?!
1) The thesis is that Maggie and Tom's bond is so strong they sacrificed everything for each other: Maggie's love for other men and Tom's...personal life? Maybe if I read the book I'd get what Tom was saying near the end, but it all sounded rather incestuous  and I'm one of the last people to misread Victorian sensibilities (since I basically share them...)
2)Dear Maggie. I know how much it absolutely rots to want to be with someone you shouldn't, but guess what! You blew this way out of proportion! Everyone forgave you! What else was in your way? Granted Stephen was kind of a skeezy dude on the boat a little bit, and you were a good girl during that whole deal, but guess what, later you could have been with him! Dumbo. Although he did kind of have that thing with Lucy at the same time and no girl likes to think a man can switch that easily...
3)Poor Philip. Did I mention he's a hunchback?
4)Yet another ridiculously beautiful woman with too many men that love her. Wah wah.
6)Did I also mention George Eliot is crazy? I mean the woman has an agenda, a BIG one, in all of her stories (what writer doesn't?). I didn't expect a happy ending, I just wasn't seeing most of anything involving Stephen and the dying coming. She loves women to destroy themselves because of ridiculous promises to awful men.

I should probably read some of her books someday...

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