Maggie: A Girl of the Streets is considered a classic example of American naturalism. Naturalist philosophy held that people are trapped by their environment and are powerless to change it. Naturalist writers attempt to imitate the dialect, actions, and thoughts of real people. As much as possible, Crane wants us to believe that we are listening to the residents of the Bowery, not reading an author's work. Writing from his own experiences in the Bowery, Crane writes about family life, interpersonal relationships, ways of settling disputes, and basic life choices.
Living life in the slums was one theme of this book. Most people that live their entire life in the slums tend to end back up right where they started or worse, no matter how hard they try not to. Just as Maggie did in this book, where she started out thinking her life was so bad. She left her family to live with Pete and soon after Pete left her for another woman. She returned home to her family who just rejected her like they were not even related. She was left alone to live out on the streets and she soon became a prostitute. Maggie is just an example of how life can get worse without you even realizing it. Some of the decisions you make can put you in a position to fall even farther into poverty than you already were. Maggie made bad decisions and in the end her life was taken because of them. She died without having a family by her side and living through prostitution.
Crane uses hypocrisy to better portray the lifestyle of Maggie's family and the unfair frustration Maggie receives as a result of it. Her mom, Mary, and her brother, Jimmy, are the prime examples of this theme even though Maggie herself shows to be a bit of a hypocrite as well. Throughout the... [continues]
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