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MonkeyNotes-Maggie: A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane
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Chapter 18

A man sits in a restaurant with six women around him. He is quite drunk and the women are encouraging him to brag about himself. He repeats over and over that he is a good fellow, encouraging the women to affirm this fact. They do in a bored way and he then repeats the self-praise. He buys drinks for the women and gets into an altercation with the waiter who looks at him with a disgusted look. It begins when he tries to tip the waiter and the waiter refuses it. The waiter tells him heís drunk and he is making a fool of himself. The "woman of brilliance and audacity" tells Pete to ignore the waiter. Pete looks at her as if he would die if he were to be accused of a contemptible action.

He asks Nellie if he doesnít always treat her well. She agrees glibly. She asks the other women to join in with her in praise of Peteís good qualities. He continues to asks them if he doesnít always treat them right and if he isnít a good fellow. They continue to reply that he does and he is. When he orders more drinks, he feels as if the waiter has insulted him and decides he should defend his honor. The women calm him down and then he thinks he should apologize to the waiter. He pulls money from his wallet and gives it to Nellie. He tells her heís "stuck on her" and falls asleep. The women drink and laugh and he suddenly lurches forward and falls to the floor. The women shriek and pull back their skirts. One of them suggests that they leave. Nellie stays behind picking up the money from the table. She exclaims over Pete, "What a damn fool!" He is left passed out, a glass of wine fallen and dripping the last of its contents onto his neck.


Notes

The last two chapters of the novel are devoted to the survivors. Here, Pete sits in a bar with Nellie and a group of other women and drinks himself to intoxication apparently as a means to avoid his sense of guilt over what happened to Maggie. This survivor himself becomes something of a victim when he is fleeced at the end of the chapter by Nellie, the woman for whom he abandoned Maggie.

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