Assignment: “Maggie: A Girl of the Streets”
In “Maggie, A Girl of the Streets,” Stephen Crane positions Maggie between two Moral systems –the old –fashioned Puritan Culture of her mother, and the new culture of abundance and consumption (consumerism). How does Maggie respond to both moral systems in the story? (Give examples of how Maggie demonstrates a connection with both cultures) Which Culture do you thing she most participate in?
Dieing Between Two Worlds
Besides the emotional pain that rejection causes, it is up to some level an unavoidable part of life. In our nature as human beings, we are constantly fulfilling our own necessity of been accepted. In “Maggie: A Girl of the Streets” rejection and morality play fundamental aspects in Maggie’s life. Even thought she felt connected to the two sides of her life to a certain point, in both cases she was rejected. On one hand, during her early years, her “Old-Fashioned” world was controlled by her mother’s hypocritical double morality. On the other hand, her last days were moved by the two faces of her “New world” where she faced rejection for a second time, and failed in self-acceptance.
First, during her early years, Mary’s--Maggie’s mother-- hypocritical double morality was expressed through her alcoholism, uncontrollable violence and the perspective she had about her daughter being “a disgrace ” to her family . Being raised “In a mud puddle, she grew to be a most rare and wonderful production of a tenement district, a pretty girl. None of the dirt of Rum Alley seemed to be in her veins.” (Crane). Maggie faced the impunity of poverty and “[played and fought] with gamins in the street” (Crane). For Maggie “The earth was composed of hardship and insults” (Crane), especially by her mother’s mistreats. I idealize Maggie as the girl that dreamed to meet her “ Knight in shinny armor” to take her to “Far away lands” (Crane) and help her escape from her cruel reality. After meeting...