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Determinism in Maggie: A Girl of the Streets
Stephen Crane's novel Maggie: A Girl of the Streets paints a very vivid and dismaying picture of what life for the lower classes in New York City was like. The rough, largely angry, and ultimately hopeless individuals that fill the streets of the Bowery and the pages of this novel can be described in a variety of ways, and their actions are easy to judge as rash, unthinking, an even animalistic by a reader not given to more careful and full consideration. hen this type of consideration and long-term perspective is applied to the novel, however, it becomes clear that Crane saw these characters as victims of circumstance, inexorably and inevitably drawn to their ultimate conclusion and left without real recourse for bettering their situations. The determinism that is so evident throughout Maggie: A Girl of the Streets is expressed through…… [Read More]
Stephen Crane's novella, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, was written during America's "Gilded Age" which was the era from the end of the Civil ar to the turn of the Century. The name was given to the period by Mark Twain and Charles Dudley arner, who poked fun at the period for its rampant corruption. During this essential time of American development, New Yorker's were categorized into two different social classes similar to the division of social structure that was taking place in England. As Homberger writes, "the tone of social life in New York [City] was shaped by a distinctive passion for aristocracy"(p. 6) which was all well for the people of the upper side of New York City, but the poverty-stricken people of the lower East side were generally only concerned with focusing on surviving another day.
Crane felt the need to expose this topic of poverty…… [Read More]
When Pete betrayed her by leaving her for Nellie, that was when Maggie could no longer continue to tell herself (and believe herself) that things were going to get better. Her judgmental, hypocritical family would not take her back in after she left Pete's home and she basically had no choice but to feel completely abandoned and alone.
Crane uses a great deal of imagery to portray the mood he is trying to set, and to foreshadow coming events. For example, when describing Pete's bar he mentions that "Upon its shelves rested pyramids of shimmering glasses that were never disturbed. Mirrors set in the face of the sideboard multiplied them" (p. 87). The fragile nature of glass represents Maggie and Pete's fragile relationship and the mirrors represent the reflection of all that she longs for. The fact that Crane mentions that the glasses and mirrors are undisturbed gives the reader…… [Read More]
The arrival of Jake's wife and son some three years after him, rather than being a happy occasion, represents to Jake the diminishing of the exciting, new life he has tried to build for himself in New York. After the arrival of his wife, Jake "thought himself a martyr, an innocent exile from a world to which he belonged by right and he frequently felt the sobs of self-pity mounting to his throat" (Cahan 93-94). Like Maggie, Jake works in a sweatshop making clothes, and like Maggie, he uses his time working to day dream about other things. However, where Maggie thinks of Pete while he is working as a means of escape from the drudgery of her factory job, Jake actually enjoys his job, because it represents such a stark contrast to his life on a farm in Russia.
Thus, Jake's thoughts while working are not of escape from…… [Read More]
Being old, she has spent a lifetime learning the intricacies of life, providing her with priceless wisdom. All this wisdom however has not prevented her from becoming a beggar in her old age. The girls in the picture are just beginning to be admitted into society, whereas society has finished with the old woman in the story, and thus she sits outside and begs where she only receives money from those not living in the vicinity.
This brings me to the connection points between the photo and the story. One important connection is the fact that the setting of the photo is an industrial school. Thus the setting is hardly luxurious. It is therefore easy to connect the rather drab setting of the industrial school with life in the street. The girls' clothing is also far from what one would expect a rich person to wear. There is thus a…… [Read More]
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is perhaps the best example of Realism in literature because of how Twain presents it to us. Morality becomes something that Huck must be consider and think out as opposed to something forced down his throat. He knows the moral thing to do would be to report Jim, noting, " "People would call me a low down abolitionist and despise me for keeping mum -- but that don't make no difference. I ain't agoing to tell" (Twain 269). Furthermore, he cannot send Miss atson his letter he because his friendship with Jim trumps the morality he knows. Similarly, Jim wrestles with issues of good vs. bad. This is evident because of they way he decides to escape. He even begins to understand what Huck is going through when Huck does not turn him in. His revelation forces him to realize that Huck is "de bes'…… [Read More]
Huck has been raised to treat African-Americans one way but his instinct tells him something different. He does not quite understand the idea of slavery because he is young and he can still see the cruelty behind it. He does not see class as the adults around him do. hen he struggles with turning in Jim, he finally decides he cannot do it. He states, "People would call me a low down abolitionist and despise me for keeping mum -- but that don't make no difference. I ain't agoing to tell" (Twain 269). Here we see that he knows the language and knows what others have told him to do based on Jim's class but he decides that he knows better than the grown-ups around him. In Maggie, A Girl of the Streets, class becomes an important issue for Crane in that it becomes what separates Maggie from the rest…… [Read More]
Author Patricia Reilly Giff is a former teacher who now incorporates the lessons that she learned about children through her occupation into her writing. Giff spent more than two decades as a full time teacher, mostly in elementary schools, and so it is not at all surprising that the majority of her written texts have to do with life at school, the many difficulties of children, and the problems that many adults have in trying to communicate with a population in which they no longer take part. According to Giff, she did not even begin writing until the year 1975, when she had reached the age of 40 (La Gorce). Many people would consider this rather late in life to set about on a whole new career, particularly one like novel writing where so few people are able to be successful and to make a living with it,…… [Read More]
Margaret Thatcher has the distinction of being the longest serving Prime Minister of the United Kingdom in over 150 years. While she is credited with being instrumental in reinstating ritain as major economic power in the world, there are strong and ambivalent options about her tenure as Prime Minister. While many laud her for some of the economic policies that she implemented, others criticize her for these same policies. "Her harsh economic policies caused social friction and divided the nation." (Margaret Thatcher site). Thatcher was also England's first female Prime Minister.
Her influence was felt not only in the United Kingdom but also in other parts of the world through her effect on and participation in international politics. The following extract points to the effect that her policies and opinions had on global events.
She was the catalyst who set in motion a series of interconnected events that gave a…… [Read More]