"The Stone Angel" Essay

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The Stone Angel

Margaret Laurence's story of The Stone Angel is about the life Hagar Currie an emotionless, stubborn and proud woman. Margaret Laurence uses this stone angel, originally bought by Hagar's father, to embody the qualities of Hagar. These virtues are often identical to those one assumes are possessed by the stone angel and are paralleled many times by Laurence. Throughout the novel, Hagar relives her life through her memories.

Over the course of the novel, one realizes that Hagar's loneliness and depression are, in fact, brought on by her pride, detached emotions, obstinacy and ignorance which she uses, subconsciously or not, to push those who love her most away. Hagar Currie was incapable of loving others, much like
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"I wouldn't let him see me cry, I was so enraged. He used a foot ruler, and when I jerked my smarting palms back, he made me hold them out again. He looked at my dry eyes in a kind of fury, as though he'd failed unless he drew water from them." (Page 9) Hagar's father straps her hands with a ruler but even as a child, she will not let her tears be seen, she will not let him see that he is hurting her. Even when her brother Dan is near death, she will not comfort him, for it requires that she act as their mother, which to her is despicable. "But all I could think of was that meek woman I'd never seen, the woman Dan was said to resemble so much an from whom he'd inherited a frailty I could not help but detest, however much a part of me wanted to sympathize." Hagar cannot bear the thought of pretending to be someone as feeble and weak as their mother. Throughout her marriage, Hagar never lets Bram know that she enjoyed their lovemaking. "He never knew. I never let him know, it was all inner. (Page 81) When Hagar's husband Bram dies she does not shed a tear, not even when there is only her son to witness it. "But when we'd buried Bram and come home again and lighted lamps for the evening, it was John who cried, not I." (Page 184) Still, when her son John dies she does not weep, as if she had been born without tear ducts. "The night my son died I was
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