A review of stephen cranes novel maggie a girl of the streets

Maggie a girl of the streets characters

The narrative, for me, reaches its height of grim tragicomedy when Maggie waits for Pete to take her on their first date: When Pete arrived Maggie, in a worn black dress, was waiting for him in the midst of a floor strewn with wreckage. By these developments, progress was linked with poverty, illustrating that the majority of the US population was skeptical about the dependency on the fluctuation of global economy. We also learn that Pete has met a just end when Nellie leaves him. One night Jimmie and Mary accuse Maggie of "Goin to deh devil", essentially kicking her out of the tenement, throwing her lot in with Pete. In this emotionalism, we are akin to the Victorian realists and sentimentalists at whom writers like Crane took aim, whether they deployed aestheticism with its Platonist underpinning, its quest for the metaphysical beauty within and behind all mere phenomena or naturalism with its ruthless Darwinian materialism scorning the metaphysical. Additionally, the circumstances in which a person finds oneself will dominate one's behavior, depriving the individual of personal responsibility. Mary Johnson: The drunkard and brutal mother who drives Maggie out of the house. Crane describes a family in the Bowery, the Johnsons, living in the midst of poverty, alcohol, violence, and squalor. Maggie begins to date Jimmie's friend Pete, who has a job as a bartender and seems a very fine fellow, convinced that he will help her escape the life she leads. Maggie's own failings are exposed here as surely as the social forces that lead to her downfall and death. In this sense, his novel is "realistic": it refuses to accept platitudes about the goodness of human nature, and about the prosperity of American society. She grew to be a most rare and wonderful production of a tenement district, a pretty girl. But one of the remarkable things about Maggie is that the novel's refusal to blame Maggie does not mean that her mistakes are forgiven. Yet the irony is as cruel as the setting, and in that way pays tribute to the integrity of the situation described. Furthermore, the Maggie and her brother have not made amends because one night she goes to see him but he casts her off.

By these developments, progress was linked with poverty, illustrating that the majority of the US population was skeptical about the dependency on the fluctuation of global economy. Emorz Elliott.

This irony, which exists in the slight gap between the third-person narrator and the first-person consciousness of the character, causes free indirect discourse to feel sometimes like the literary corollary of the patronizing attitude of the guilty middle-class liberal toward the poor. Dingledine argues that Maggie overestimates the effects of her attempts to beautify her home on Pete and on society.

maggie a girl of the streets summary

As the fight becomes more serious, another boy named Pete intervenes and rescues Jimmy. Valor grew strong again, and the little boys began to swear with great spirit.

The element of decadent aestheticism will soon drop out of American naturalism, which is why later and more didactic naturalist novelists like Theodore Dreiser, John Steinbeck, and Richard Wright will find themselves charged with sentimentalism and demagogy. Instead, Crane writes, "The girl, Maggie, blossomed in a mud puddle.

Furthermore, the Maggie and her brother have not made amends because one night she goes to see him but he casts her off.

How many pages is maggie a girl of the streets

The setting is unremarkable. Later, Nellie, a "woman of brilliance and audacity" convinces Pete to leave Maggie, whom she calls "a little pale thing with no spirit. Realist novels tend to portray their protagonists as subject to massive social forces. There are great Cranesque lines throughout the work that save it from complete tosh-dom, and maybe that's why I keep coming back to this work over the years to see if I missed something. Dingledine argues that Maggie overestimates the effects of her attempts to beautify her home on Pete and on society. And it is precisely because Maggie was so revolutionary that it continues to pay a certain price. Even as it extends sympathy to all its characters, it critiques the injustices they work, their hypocrisy, sentimentalism, ridiculous ideas and attitudes. In an era that has been labeled the Gilded Age Crane was prepared to expose the misery, hypocrisy, and sentimentalism that he believed lay beneath the gilt. His language is crystal clear; he constructs sentences in such a way to emit a vivid visual experience from between the words. It may be due to the intense, sincere character of this book, obviously the product of a young, rebellious man. If it were not so deeply troubling, Maggie would be so banal as to be forgettable. His adjectives are active; he uses colors as verbs. We learn that Jimmy has found himself a girl and has done exactly the same thing to her that Pete did to Maggie. Far from exhibiting arrogance because it refuses overt pity, it takes remarkable restraint, even selflessness, to write this way.

I think the most commonly-shared assumption among readers, writers, and critics of our time is that fiction exists primarily to provoke emotion through empathy. He claims that Maggie believes that she can move into a higher class, but fails to realize that she lacks the social or cultural capital to do this.

In the end humanity is just a plague upon the earth, like lice, and every thing humans do is corrupt and horrible and actively seeks to destroy any redeeming good.

maggie a girl of the streets themes

His refusal to judge allows us to think and feel for ourselves; his compassion is absent, but its shape is detectable in the jagged edges of his broken narrative. Given the same story, Charles Dickens would have filled three volumes.

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Maggie: A Girl of the Streets