Maggie Tulliver is a girl whose brightness and spirit are constantly curtailed and nearly crushed. Throughout her childhood she is treated as subordinate to her brother, including in the matter of education.  Here she makes the most of a few crumbs of culture allowed to fall her way, leading to a haphazardly formed mind. 

She had only been to school a year at St. Ogg’s, and had so few books that she sometimes read the dictionary; so that in travelling over her small mind you would have found the most unexpected ignorance as well as unexpected knowledge.

Source: George Eliot, The Mill on the Floss (London: Oxford University Press, 1963), p. 119

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