The Mill on the Floss Questions and Answers
by George Eliot

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What did Tom do with the parcel of sugar candy?

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In book 2, chapter 3 of The Mill on the Floss, Tom Tulliver is returning—reluctantly—to school. The weather is wet and miserable and perfectly reflects how Tom is feeling at this precise moment. To make the experience of returning to school a little less unpleasant, Tom carries in his pocket a packet of sugar candy and a small Dutch doll for his playmate Laura Stelling. Tom knows just how much Laura will love the candy and can't wait to see her excited reaction when he lets her have some.

As he sits beneath the gig-umbrella, which gives off an odor of damp, Tom tries to enliven the gloom by helping himself to some of the sugar candy in his pocket. He takes out the parcel, makes a small hole in the paper, and bites off a couple of crystals. It gives him some much-needed comfort, briefly alleviating some of the misery of going back to school on a cold, wet morning—so much so that he repeats the process a few more times before he finally arrives at school.

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