The novel, Maggie: A Girl Of The Streets, by Stephen Crane, takes place in the slums of New York City during the 1890&#8217;s. It is about a girl, Maggie Johnson, who is forced to grow up in a tenement house. She had a brother, Jimmie, an abusive mother, Mary, and a father who died when Maggie was young. When Maggie grew up, she met her boyfriend, Pete. In Maggie&#8217;s eyes, Pete was a sophisticated young man who impressed Maggie because he treated her better than she had been treated to all of her life. Once Maggie&#8217;s mother and brother found out that Maggie was sleeping with this man, Mary threw Maggie out into the streets, condemning her to a life of evil. Eventually, Pete decided he no longer wished to see Maggie. …show more content…
Yet, Mary did not see anything wrong with her own actions.
The most powerful construction device used throughout the novel is the setting. The tenement houses in the 1890s were crowded, lacking in good sanitation, and filled with disease. Also, the people who lived in the tenement houses would often fight with each other. The houses were most often located in an alley with other dangerous sorts of people. The tenement house that the Johnson family inhabited was located in Rum Alley. Crane went into great detail in describing the tenement houses. &#8220;Eventually they entered a dark region where, from a careening building, a dozen gruesome doorways gave up loads of babies to the street and the gutter. &#8230;In all the unhandy places there were buckets, brooms, rags, and bottles. &#8230;The building quivered and creaked from the weight of humanity stamping about in its bowels.'; The people who inhabited these types of houses were relatively uneducated, which is shown through the dialect which the author used. &#8220;Den d&#8217; mug he squared off an&#8217; he said he was fine as silk wid his dukes-see? An&#8217; he wanned a drink-quick. Dat&#8217;s what he said. See?'; The Johnson family is no acceptation to this. Both the parents were drunkards and frequently in fights. Therefore, this would be a terrible environment
“The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely, or unhappy is to go outside... Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be”(Anne Frank). In the story, “Diary of a Young Girl”, by Anne Frank, Anne is a young Jewish girl who has to flee into hiding during the Holocaust and writes in her diary about what goes on. At the beginning Anne is sociable, but as the war progresses she becomes lonely. Therefore I believe that loneliness can change a person.
Alice Walker juxtaposes Maggie with her sister, Dee, to demonstrate how society denigrates not only African-American women but women in general in the 1970s. Early on in the story, Maggie is described as nervous, hopelessly standing in the corner. Later she is described as nearly hidden from view. On a metaphorical level, Maggie is the symbol of the lack of power women held in the 1970s. She is the epitome of the silent female homemaker. On the other hand, Dee is assertive, “will look you right in the eye.” She serves as a symbol of the free, successful modern woman. However, her assertiveness might come off as cockiness, and too much pride. By contrasting Maggie and Dee, Alice Walker is expressing both sides of the female role during that time.
Tenement buildings are run down buildings, mostly in the city. Poor families and mostly poor immigrants would live inside these buildings. Tenement buildings were very unhealthy to live in. A danger that families had to face in these buildings was that they were run down. Run down buildings could fall apart and the ceilings could be tore. Also, the buildings could have mold and people can get sick from breathing in mold, laying on mold, or ingesting mold. Tenements were also small and crowded with people, so if someone gets sick in the tenement it will spread very fast to the whole family. Tenement buildings are also very unsanitary. There were outhouses outside the buildings and these outhouses would stink up the neighborhood. Outhouses are unsanitary because the waste inside them would be stuck inside them for a long time and that can attract bugs. Furthermore, outside these tenements in the backyard, were mud and animal feces all over the place. Along with the mud and animal waste children would try to play outside but, it would be to dirty for them to go outside and play. Fires were one of the many dangers that people in tenement buildings had to face. If there was a fire it would be hard for tenement residents to evacuate the building because there was no fire escapes. Likewise, tenements residents could also have fire hazards like cigarettes or
Maggie Vandermeer dwells in a contemporary society where proficiency in regards to social media is a rather dominant feature, especially in her search for a job and as an attempt to conform. As Maggie is not familiar with such social media’s, especially in comparison to the younger generation, this renders Maggie somewhat of a misfit and continues her path of solitude, as she has no friends or a job. Although Maggie routinely uses her cell phone to text or tweet, she has not yet integrated herself to this contemporary society, as the younger generation is remarkably adept with social media. Moreover, Maggie isn’t conversant with the proper norms that belong to social media. For example, at the beginning of the story, Maggie is woken up by her daughter, Lacey Vandermeer, who sends her a text at 1:27 AM. Next, she begins to Twitter stalk Lacey’s page until she discovers Lacey’s presumed lover named Dane Davis, and begins to stalk him as well. Maggie also seems to prefer face to face interactions, rather than communication with some sort of social media. This preference differentiates her from the younger generation, as they tend to prefer communicating through social media. For example, When Lacey suggests how she does not need to come over, Maggie insists on the value of face to face interaction. “The point was to have a visit with you,” Maggie says (Cullen, 36). When Maggie attends her job interviews, the interviewers, who are of that younger generation, stress the
The author of “Everyday Use,” Alice Walker, portrays that society values people like Dee more so than Maggie. The two sisters in the story are described as two complete opposites in personality, how they carry themselves, and even overall appearance. Walker describes Maggie with a quote, “she has been like this, chin on chest, eyes on ground, feet in shuffle, ever since the fire that burned the other house to the ground” (71). This description of Maggie relates to someone who is clearly shy, not very confident, and appears closed off to the world. Society does not appear to value people who are not very confident and not open to the world in general. Describing the illiteracy of Maggie also adds to the view of society valuing Dee over Maggie.
Despite these conditions, Maggie grows up to be an intelligent young lady unlike the rest of the crowd. She surpasses the many distractions and situations she faces and continues to prevent herself from being a part of the problem. Therefore, the whirling dirt of Rum Alley never truly sticks to her because she looks beyond the violence and unjust actions. Most importantly, she carries an inner characteristic of virtue throughout her life and continues to display this in her future. I believe this is a crucial part of Maggie’s characterization because it places her in a different light.
Although John Steinbeck’s novelette Of Mice and Men included a vast away of interesting characters, Lennie was one that sparked my interest the most. Small’s personality is similar to that of an innocent child’s; he is also often depicted like an animal, as he is as strong as a bull (as Milton describes him), but acts like a dog. Small is also mentally handicapped, feels security when it comes to touching soft items, and does not understand many abstract ideas. We can look at all of these traits through his devoted dependency towards George. Though he acts this way, he does not actually comprehend this idea of loyalty. As a result, he often gets into trouble without the intention of doing so, and once he does, only defines his
From past experience, I believe the words once said by Maggie Kuhn: “Speak the truth even if your voice shakes” are important words to live by. What she says is important to me because sometimes if you don’t speak people will get away with doing terrible things they’ve done in the past and continue doing them to other people. I should’ve spoken when the chance was given to me. Because I didn’t, I have to deal with daily guilt. I hope by sharing my story people will stick up for themselves and others if they’re scared.
In the opening stages of the novella, Maggie tries to escape her troubling life through her relationship with Pete. As Maggie grows up, she becomes a beautiful girl who hates her life in Rum Alley. She sees Pete as a savior who could lead her away from her poverty stricken life and bring her into the world of leisure because he introduces her to popular music, dances, and dramas, all of which seem extravagant to her. Maggie “begins to note the well-dressed women she meets. She [envies the women’s] elegance (11).” Most of the melodramas that Maggie watches with Pete show the American dream of a person going from rags to riches, which is a goal that she thinks Pete will help her in achieve.
Girl by Jamaica Kincaid is a prose poem about a mother writing to her daughter and telling her how to do things. If by Rudyard Kipling is a father telling his son that if he can do certain things, he will become a man. These stories are similar and different in many ways, like their different formats, different points of view, and similar topic.
Mind over Matter. As cliché as this statement sounds, L.M. Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables proves the idea to be true. Throughout the novel, Anne continually uses her imagination to help her persevere through difficult situations. This novel also highlights the importance and power one’s attitude has in shaping the outcome of a situation or event, and carries a powerful message that people control their own happiness. Numerous times, Anne, the protagonist, is faced with less than ideal circumstances, but she is determined to have an optimistic attitude and make the best of each situation. As a result of this positive determination, the outcome is always in Anne’s favor.
Maggie grew up in poverty, living out her childhood in a shabby apartment in Rum Alley. This poverty influenced her beliefs. The story says “when Pete arrived Maggie, in a worn
Maggie A Girl of the Streets is a naturalistic novella by American author Stephen Crane. The story centers on Maggie, a young girl from New York City who is driven to unfortunate circumstances by poverty and isolation. This novel includes a lot of Naturalism, which is a literary ideology based of the ideas of nature vs. nurture. This idea proposed that family, social circumstances and environment shape human character. As a result, naturalistic writers write stories built on the idea that environment governs human personality.
Crane’s Maggie: A Girl of the Streets opening scene features violence, which is a taboo subject during the time period he wrote the piece; “His coat had been torn to shreds in a scuffle, and his hat was gone. He had bruises on twenty parts of his body, and blood was dripping from a cut in his head”(946). The three children experience abuse, both physical and emotional, from the mother and the father in the early chapters of this work. Stephen Crane states, [ Youse allus fightn’, Jimmie, an’yeh knows it puts mudder out when yehs come home half dead, an’ it’s like we’ll all get a poundin’ (949).] Furthermore, this abuse is evidenced by the following quote from Stephen Crane [The mother’s massive shoulders heaved with anger. Grasping the urchin by the neck and shoulder she shook him until he rattled(949).] Violence is a
In Stephen Crane’s book Maggie: A Girl of the Streets there are various themes, one of them is the impact of the social environment. The impact of social environment is how people are products of their own environment and people are who they grew up to be due to the conditions, people, and environment that surrounds them. The Bowery is 14 blocks and has 82 bars there that make alcohol very accessible to the residents, including children. The Bowery has a negative impact on people and even children that live there. The Bowery is a concrete jungle where only the strong survive. The living conditions are unquestionably poor and the tenements where they live is full of immigrants. The kids in the Bowery live with alcoholic and abusive parents, pregnant women who are not married, and finally prostitutes. Maggie, Jimmie, and Pete are all characters that deserve forgiveness due to Stephen Crane message, people are products of their own environment and deserve forgiveness.