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MonkeyNotes-Maggie: A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane
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A woman named Hattie is wandering the streets looking for someone. She is one of Jimmie’s ex-lovers. When she sees him, she begs him to come and talk to her. He pushes her aside and escapes her. When he gets home, he finds his mother in a rage and Maggie standing in the middle of the room. Mrs. Johnson is screaming at Maggie and the neighbors are standing around the doorway witnessing it. Finally, Maggie walks out the door and no one comes to help her. She stays with the beggar woman overnight.

Pete doesn’t believe he is responsible for having ruined Maggie. He stands in his bar cleaning the bar when he spots Maggie outside. He rushes to a side door and beckons her. Maggie is relieved to see him. He tells her she must go away, that his boss insists on the bar being respectable. Maggie tries to remind Pete that he told her to come see him there any time, but he won’t listen. He shuts the door in her face. Maggie stands without knowing what to do. She notices looks from men, so she starts walking as if she has a purpose. She sees a clergyman and tries to approach him, but he quickly turns his back on her to save his respectability.


Several months later, Maggie is dressed as a prostitute. She is trying to find a customer in the theater district, but she only looks at men who look like farmers or workers. When she finds no one she wanders further away toward the water. She goes to seedier and seedier streets getting rejected by several men for lack of time or money. Finally, she comes upon an obese and greasy man who laughingly goes with her.

Pete sits in a saloon with Nellie and several other women. He is completely drunk. He is waxing sentimental about how good of a fellow he is. The women indulgently agree with him. Finally, he passes out. The women take his money and leave him lying on the floor.

In the Johnson home, Jimmie comes home to tell his mother that Maggie is dead. She begins to wail about how Maggie was as a small child. She goes and gets some wool boots Maggie had worn as a baby and begins wailing. The neighbor women come in and commiserate with her, telling her she should now forgive her wayward daughter. She finally screams out that she forgives Maggie.

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