Maggie: A Girl On the Streets
The problems that were faced by Maggie, and many other women in the lower social-economic levels during the Gilded Age, are almost unbearable to imagine. She faced discrimination, attachment issues, and grew up with a dysfunctional family that failed to show affection. Fortunately for Maggie, she wasn’t like the people she lived around. As Stephen Crane put it, “None of the dirt of Rum Alley seemed to be in her veins” (Maggie 16). This unique feature acquired by Maggie gave her the ability to improve her chance, even by a slim chance. Maggie grew up with a family who would have been classified as the low-class, in the scums of New York City. This is where Maggie naturally sets back her chances on eventually leaving her awful neighborhood, also known as Rum Alley. The name of the neighborhood basically describes the type of neighborhood it really is. It’s filled with many alcoholic families, with children who don’t receive the affection that they deserve from their elders. This unfortunately makes it difficult for Maggie to find help inside her neighborhood, which forces her to make good decisions inside her neighborhood. Maggie was discriminated on mainly for one reason: for being a woman. During this time period, women were socially accepted inside the house, but not out of it. On the streets was where men were found whether they were working, or drinking at the local tavern. Women at this time were harassed unapologetically. For example, when Pete comes to Maggie’s house he tells her, "I'm stuck on yer shape. It's outa sight.” (Maggie 19). Maggie didn’t want to end up as a low-life scum living as a housewife when she became older. She wanted to be somebody. Discrimination of women and lower-class citizens unfairly held Maggie back from the start. She had a slim-to-none chance. Maggie suffered attachment issues numerous times in the novel. She became afraid to befriend anyone because all of her previous attachments had left her....
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