Water can symbolize many things throughout the novel. Whether it is in Manawaka, the Pacific Coast or Shadow point, what is constantly recognized in the number of times water is used. If one were to closely examine these situations, they would soon discover it’s symbolic importance. In the novel The Stone Angel, water is presented in the many fluctuations, in Hagar’s life. Hagar goes through many stages in her life, where water is represented but without it being physically present. Without the imagery of water, the story would be less effective and meaningful for the reader.
When Hagar reaches Shadow Point, hungry and confused, she eats some food from her paper bag. She feels restored but is very thirsty because she forgot to bring water with her. “There’s no water-none. How has it happened? I’d give almost anything right now for a cup o tea.” (153, The Stone Angel) Hagar is mad at herself for not remembering to bring water with her. This shows how important water is for Hagar’s well being. When she wakes up the next day, she is wandering around and finds “A rusty and dinted bucket beside a shed has gathered the rain water for ” (186, The Stone Angel) Hagar. This symbolizes a sign of hope and life since it is a known fact that man cannot live more than three days without water. At this point Hagar is feeling good about herself for being able to survive this long.
When Hagar first gets to Shadow Point, she is desperate for water. Hagar “can’t drink seawater”, because “it meant to be poisonous.” (186, The Stone Angel) This shows that water is sort of a paradox. It is meant to do well but it can also do harm. When one reaches a point where they must have water but all that is available, is salt water, where it can do harm if one tries to drink it. It can also demoralize their hope. The novel states, “It was at dusk, all shapes and colors having turned...
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