The Stone Angel

Topics: Margaret Laurence, The Stone Angel, Confinement Pages: 3 (1136 words) Published: May 16, 2001
The Stone Angel

Event by event, memory by memory the scales fall from Hagar's eyes until she sees clearly her own nature. No longer blaming others, she dies courageously by being fully responsible for her own life. What are the stages of Hager's enlightenment.

The novel The Stone Angel portrays an image of a ninety-year-old woman, Hagar Currie, who confronts her past of personal failures in an attempt for rejuvenation before death. Hagar has lead a life dominated by authority and memories of whom she is expected to be. As she goes through life she continually tries to escape from her fears and gain acceptance. Through events and journeys, Hagar is able to release herself from the restrictions that have prevented her from leading a satisfactory life. Thus, to reconcile with herself and her fate, Hagar must flee from three domestic confinements: her father, her husband and her eldest son.

As a child, Hagar was hampered by the pride, social standards and disciplines of her father, Jason Currie. Hagar's life had been dominated by the authority of her father and that is what drove her away from him. Jason Currie was a very proud, self-made man who pushed his values on his children. It is easily seen that many of the father's traits belong, also, to his daughter, such as his pride and stubbornness. Hagar is often closely compared to the stone angel that stands over her mother's grave, doubly blind. It is for this reason that Hagar lived a joyless life for which she was unable to express herself.

Jason Currie was excessively caught up in his own dynasty, his image, and was determined to have his children uphold this image. He wanted his children, especially Hagar, to display his pride and behave at the level of his standards. Hager's emotional reactions and superficial outlook were determined by the views expressed by her father's examples and reinforced by punishment. With a father who will tolerate no weakness of any kind, Hagar learned...
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