Maggie: A Girl Of The Streets And George Simmel’S

1080 Words5 Pages
Jessica Lin Tradition in Humanities February 21st, 2011 Analytical Paper Maggie: A Girl of the Streets and George Simmel’s Blasé Attitude Stephen Crane’s first novel, “Maggie: A girl of the Streets” is a brutally realistic portrayal of the lower east side of New York City during the immigration wave of the 1880s. The novel focuses on the struggle of poverty and the effects of the industrial revolution through a naturalistic lense. The narrative focuses on the Johnson family who live in the squalid tenements among other immigrant families primarily of Irish decent in the lower bowery. The main character, Maggie Johnson and the rest of the characters living in the Bowery developed the blasé attitude because of the effects of living in a rural setting and through the modernization of the industrial revolution. In George Simmel’s “The Metropolis and Mental Life,” people’s interactions within the metropolis are dominated by secondary relationships and money economics and as a result, the “metropolitan man” develops the blasé attitude (Simmel, 41). Primary relationships between friends and neighbors are reduced to secondary relationships within communities in urban cities (Simmel, 39). Secondary relationships are impersonal ties between individuals who are exchanging the values of goods or services that are goal oriented (JSA lecture). Individuals in secondary relationships are intrinsically connected to money economics so the individuals interact contractually and form a “rational” web of group affiliations (Simmel, 39). Rural life compared to city life has many more emotional relationships whereas in the city one may know their neighbors but don’t necessarily care about them unless there is a profit motif behind it. Money becomes the only concern that dominates an individual’s motive to develop relationships based on how wealthy one is (Simmel, 41).

More about Maggie: A Girl Of The Streets And George Simmel’S

Open Document