I the late 19 century. This is

I have a love hate relationship with this book.

The book was written in an unfamiliar English with a thick Irish accent. The moment I started reading it, I slowly started to dislike the slangs used by uneducated people in the poor neighborhood and depressing and hopeless days with the condition of everyone being despair. Unlike many books that have a happy ending, this book did not one. Every time I flipped a page, it felt like I was reading a brutally straightforward society that the characters had no control over, but at the same time I was pulled into the world of Bowery, New York in the late 19 century. This is where my love-hate relationship started with the book Maggie: a girl of the streets.It stung my heart; this book was viciously straight forward, and it was the first book that didn’t swing my emotions. I’ve never met a character that gave me an impression of cloud of grief throughout the story.

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I couldn’t hold my sympathy for the main character, Maggie, who is the most beautiful girl in the neighborhood in RumAlley, yet have such a hysterical life. The author, Stephen Crane, describes her as ” a girl who blossomed in a mud puddle”. Every night she comes home, seeing her parents getting intoxicated and malicious violence would go on non stop. Her older brother Jimmy goes out fighting with people who have a higher status than him, and her younger brother dies out of nowhere without a description by the author. The only hope Maggie had at the time was falling in love with his ideal guy Pete. The living condition was horrendous.

Maggie begins to dislike her clothing because she thinks it doesn’t suit her as a girlfriend of Pete, not knowing that Pete doesn’t love her. Eventually Pete abandons Maggie for another woman Nellie. All of the books I have read had a happy ending, and even the bad things turned out to work out its way to fix its problems. A cold society where all of the residents laugh at pitiful figures of others and assuming a total air of indifference to the matter of downfall of them. There is no escape route for the residents to live, everyone desperately lives, and they don’t right frame of mind to help others.

Everyone is fighting, not with their surroundings or environment, but to let themselves fall down of the social acceptance. (The little boys seemed to leer gloatingly at the blood upon the other child’s face. (2) )Among all the tragedies that have happened to Maggie and his family, I realized all the sequences came from fate. As learning, Crane was a naturalist, who believes fate governs people’s lives, but I still think there are many things that could have been prevented by their free will.

Maggie’s death is one; Crane purposely writes the story as Maggie could have not done anything to fix her situations. From having a dreamy naive personality, she falls for Pete, but Pete abandons Maggie for another woman, she has lost all of her hope and end up committing suicide. She escaped from her burden by ending her life, but there was definitely a future hold ahead of her. It all depended on her willingness. Crane portrayed the poverty in the era by letting Maggie end her life who But I disagree with this. My grandfather who was born as a member of farmer’s family.

He was the youngest sibling out of nine that he had, and none of his siblings had only gotten education up to elementary school. Like Maggie, many people believe that people tend to follow your family’s  path. Her parents were unstable and none of his siblings got well educated and she followed the path too. But my grandpa was different. Despite his poor living condition in the rural area, who could barely afford to live every day, kept working hard to raise his money for education. He stroke a balance between studying and working as a farmer, and his determination later got awarded by going to a graduate school in America. He was just one of the kids born in a farmer family, but he made a difference.

In the story, in a world where it is all of about competition of the status and difficult to survive with little education you have, once you step your food out of the path, it is difficult to get back on. Once the you have lost the will to survive, and decide to be released from your pain by committing suicide. Crane is stating that Maggie’s life is controlled by her uncontrollable factor such as her living condition, and there is absolutely nothing to change it. However, I realized that I think in a different way. I realized that one can possibly do anything if they have the will to try. Because of the realistic hardship that the Johnson family faced, I was able to recognize many turning points on what could have been different.

There are many things that can’t be changed, but it is about how you overcome it. Crane showed me the reality of hardship. There are still many people in this world, who sacrafice their lives because they think that that is the best thing they can do. All of the books that i have read were somewhat picture perfect, and everything worked its way out. But i realized sometimes u have to understand your circumstances in order to make a difference in your lives. Like my grandpa, he knew he was no where near to accomplish his goal to get a higher education, considering the fact that his family was extremely low income, and his siblings only got up to elementry school education.

He realized he had to make a difference. And I realized that i am going to face walls that might be hard to overcome, and though this book did not teach me how to overcome something, it taught me the reality of hardship and how to accept it. The book was based on how one’s enviornmental shapes their lives, but that can be changed.


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