Margaret Laurence’s The Stone Angel is a new, which describes the last days of life with the protagonist – Hagar Currie-Shipley. Pride, loneliness and last journey to death will be the main themes of the story. The character of Hagar is altered through the new and the readers can see distinct stages this kind of old girl comes in her perception of other people, existence and death. Multiple flashbacks give us idea about living of the key character and people who surround her.
Margaret Laurence goes further than mere description of incidents. Deep exploration of Hagar’s beliefs, thoughts and ideas present not only a valuable exploration of outdated lady’s interior world, although also make the readers to reflect on this kind of important themes as like, friendship, take great pride in, acceptance of death and coming in terms with their reality.
Margaret Laurence composed in one of her interviews that your woman was not sure if the previous days of ninety-year old female could be an interesting reading intended for the large audience.
But she dared and fulfilled her idea and the novel shot to popularity among the visitors. It was included into several study programs soon after it was published. This issue touched in the novel echoed in the minds of the viewers and they had been ready to reveal an experience of dying girl and reflect on the themes of pleasure and loneliness.
Pride is the best characteristic of the main character. All Hagar’s life is dedicated to one ultimate purpose – she would like to make a great appearance in any respect. Any indications of thoughts she regards as weak point, which should be avoided by any means. The name of the novel becomes a symbol just for this pride, that makes the main aim of Hagar’s life. From childhood she feels better than other kids. An accident for the Manawak remove is very qualities for better understanding of Hagar’s character.
Once Hagar’s friend Lottie killes small chicks in the Manawak dump Hagar becomes greatly impressed by this kind of accident. This accident manufactured such an excellent impression in Hagar that she has not been able to ignore it during all her life. Many years later the lady retold this accident to Lottie after the death of their children. This kind of accident had such an impression on Hagar not only as a result of her extra sensitiveness. On her behalf killing wild birds became manifestation of power. This strength was described by her shy friend.
As Hagar herself identifies her: “Lottie was light as a great eggshell very little, and I felt surly toward her littleness and paler fine hair, for I was tall and sturdy and dark and would have enjoyed to be the opposite” (Laurence,. 27). Comparing herself to Lottie Hagar instantly came to realization that she was less strong than slim and self conscious girl your woman disdained. This accident became one of the turning points inside the becoming of Hagar’s persona and molded out most her even more life. A major accident in the Manawak dump made Hagar enthusiastic about pride and desire to maintain a good overall look in front of people by any mean. Satisfaction became perception of life and the girl was all set to sacrifice everything to this great. She did not make any exceptions, actually for her dearest people.
Staying afraid for being weak, the girl even refuses to pretend staying her mom when her dying buddy asks her about this. Your woman refuses to do this because she believes her mother was obviously a weak person and Hagar is worried even to pretend getting weak. Take great pride in does not permit Hagar to accept the choice of her son to marry Lottie’s daughter. The girl sees their particular relations “as a joke of God – if people had told me forty years back my boy would fall for No-Name Lottie Drieser’s girl, I’d have got laughed within their faces” (Laurence, 204). The lady boldly requires God’s “challenges” and decides to eliminate their associations. For this purposes she possibly turns to Lottie’s support. Hagar is definitely stubborn and self-assured enough to make the decisions for other folks and their future.
She does not take feelings of other folks seriously and even happiness of her individual son would not count in comparison to her very own ambitions. She does not wait even for the minute when creating a decision to destroy John’s and Arlene’s relationship. Hagar forgets her own youngsters when she did not tune in to anybody and married the man she got fallen fond of. “I noticed them with a covey of young, like Jess’s had been, clustered like fish offspring, children with running noses and sagging, handed-down slacks four sizes too large. We couldn’t face the thought. ” (Laurence, 211) She is absolutely sure in her right and power to determine the destinies of others and such frame of mind finally ends in a misfortune. Pride and aesthetic sense become major reasons, which define all Hagar’s behavior.
Infatuation with the need for appearance becomes a reason, which usually destructs Hagar’s life. This kind of concern regarding appearance eliminated her coming from enjoying physical love while using husband. Internal rules and restrictions would not let her to forget about morals and appearance even to get a minute. Doing her far better keep a good appearance the lady does not actually cry on the funerals of her dearest son.
Fatality is another crucial theme of the novel. Every Hagar’s life becomes a constant battle with death. Since our childhood she denies death and destructions as these extremely early instances they follow her step by step. Feeling a technique of death, Hagar tries to escape this kind of reality and appears for the mean to deceive loss of life. In the beginning the girl turns to memories and recollects the photographs from her past. Years as a child memories, matrimony and kids, all these remembrances help Hagar to create her own truth where there is not a place intended for death. The lady can not even tolerate thoughts about death.
In her reflections the lady states: “Hard to imagine a global and I not in that. Will almost everything stop when I do? Ridiculous old suitcases, who do you consider you happen to be? Hagar. There’s no one more like me through this world” (Laurence, 255). Such a position demonstrates selfish frame of mind and take great pride in. Hagar are unable to believe that the world can are present without her. When Hagar realizes that she are unable to escape from reality anymore aggression and desire to transform something supercedes all other feelings. Hagar rejects help of other people and tries to fight fatality. She can hardly control her feelings and anger becomes a imply to express her protest resistant to the existing order of the world. The realization turn into difficult since death is the fact phenomenon, which in turn Hagar attempted to escape in any respect since early on childhood.
In the very minute when Lottie killed chicks Hagar would not want to confess even to herself that loss of life was a natural part of the world. The girl rejects any sort of help and perceives Marvin’s attempt to put her inside the nursing house as a embarrassment. Only after long period of internal fight Hagar finally comes in terms together with the reality. Acceptance of the world about her becomes new knowledge for Hagar. She finally comes to hard realizations that her will and happy can not control everything in the world and there are items she has to perceive because they are, not looking to improve these people. Ability to observe different edges of the difficulty also becomes new encounter for Hagar. As she states, “how you see some thing – this will depend which side of the fencing you’re on” (Laurence, l. 224)
Could possibly be for the first time in her your life Hagar understands that there are others around her and they also have emotions, thoughts and emotions. Such simple bottom line becomes a very serious breakthrough in this strong and proud girl who accustomed to control anything and everyone during almost all her life. Hagar finally starts counting with the will certainly of other people. She does several whim deeds, which can be done not because of a lot of aesthetic worth or in the attempt to make a good physical appearance. Hagar will help ill young lady who can stay away from up. After she foretells her boy and explains to him the girl loves him more than David, who died in the car accident. These activities require tremendous amount of Hagar’s inner force. Straightforward acts of mercy are really new to her that your woman can not understand them because something regular, like most of the people carry out. This modification becomes the greatest accomplishment pertaining to Hagar.
She lies to Marvin in the name of love. This lie is extremely vividly apposed to her pleased refusal to lie in the interest of her about to die brother several years ago. Each one of these changes be a vivid signal of big change, which happens to Hagar during the last days of her life. The girl finally understands that there are items, which are more significant than pride and good appearance, which may have determined all her prior life. Such things as compassion, friendship and take pleasure in for the first time reveal their the case meaning for Hagar. Mcdougal uses the death to show the change in the perspective from the main personality and to let the reader the actual person who leaves this world.
From the other aspect new conclusion does not transform her proud and impartial nature. Hagar is still afraid and seems lonely, but she does not fight her destiny and the whole globe any more. The girl makes her final decision to leave the world being pleased and independent, like she gets spent her whole life. In the last scene Hagar, dying, rejects the help of the nurse to aid her beverage some water. She does it herself and this typical action which in turn we do several times a day becomes an exploit to get dying woman and shows her self-reliance and benefits of her nature.
Margaret Laurence has picked a difficult matter for her book. She portrayed the last times of the old female left by itself in her world, between the recollections of the previous and lonely in her voluntary isolation. The author identifies different stages Hagar exceeded before her death and analyses her emotional conditions during these stages. But we meet loss of life several times throughout the novel. We see in the memories of Hagar who shed almost all her dear people but did not think about the loss of life like about something which could happen with her. The death is explained without adornment and exaggerations. But normal and schedule descriptions assist to get better comprehension of the fatality and, finally, of existence.
1 . Margaret Laurence, The Stone Angel, New Canadian Library, Barcelone, 1968.