free booknotes online

Help / FAQ




<- Previous Page | First Page | Next Page ->
MonkeyNotes-Maggie: A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane
Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version

Mrs. Mary Johnson Mrs. Johnson is one of the most vicious figures in literature. She dominates the Johnson home as if playing out any nineteenth-century man’s nightmare of a dominating woman. Crane seems to be suggesting here that one of the vices produced by poverty is the toppling of the man’s rightful place as the head of the household. In the first scene in which the couple is featured, Mrs. Johnson runs him out of the house. He is a vicious character but doesn’t even compare with Mrs. Johnson for unreasonable screaming and gratuitous abuse of everyone in sight.

Like Jimmie and Maggie, Mrs. Johnson is also a voice of the moral norm of her time, despite the fact that she violates it at every point. Mrs. Johnson is an alcoholic, she abuses her children, she makes the home unlivable by her drunken rages, yet she condemns her daughter for having sex out of wedlock. She refuses to let Maggie live with her even when Maggie is abandoned by her lover. In this respect, she causes Maggie’s death. Still, she finds no hypocrisy in becoming tearful when Maggie dies. She enters the role of the bereaved mother with great ease and she is fully endorsed in this hypocrisy by her neighbors who have witnessed her abuses over the years.


Pete Crane probably knew a man like Pete. He spends more time describing Pete’s clothing and mannerisms than he does any other character. He doesn’t use as much venom in his portrait of Pete as he does for Mrs. Johnson, but he certainly seems to have enjoyed creating this arrogant and stupid character. He writes of Pete, "He could appear to strut even while sitting still and he showed that he was a lion of lordly characteristics by the air with which he spat." Pete is the kind of man who thinks more highly of himself than anybody else except Maggie. He is an arrogant man who has nothing to be arrogant about. Yet, he is the most successful character coming out of this neighborhood. He is a bartender and has a steady job at a saloon. He makes enough money that he attracts the "brilliant and audacious" Nellie. Pete has the convenient morality of a man who nurses his sense of guilt with alcohol and the approbation of prostitutes. Crane brilliantly chose a man like Pete for Maggie because the match is so believable. Pete is exactly the kind of man Maggie would have been attracted to. He is so different from her brother and father in their open brutality. He is an imitation gentleman.

Table of Contents | Message Board | Printable Version


<- Previous Page | First Page | Next Page ->
MonkeyNotes-Maggie: A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane
Google
Web
PinkMonkey

Google
  Web PinkMonkey.com   

All Contents Copyright © PinkMonkey.com
All rights reserved. Further Distribution Is Strictly Prohibited.


About Us
 | Advertising | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Home Page
This page was last updated: 5/9/2017 9:53:08 AM