Maggie: A Girl Of The Streets By Stephen Crane

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6 March 2010 Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893) by Stephen Crane Stephen Crane (1871-1900) Stephen Crane, born in New Jersey, had roots going back to Revolutionary War soldiers, clergymen, sheriffs, judges, and farmers who had lived a century earlier. Primarily a journalist who also wrote fiction, essays, poetry, and plays, Crane saw life at its rawest, in slums and on battlefields. Crane's Maggie: A Girl of the Streets (1893) is one of the best, if not the earliest, naturalistic American novels. It is the harrowing story of a poor, sensitive young girl whose uneducated, alcoholic parents utterly fail her. In love and eager to escape her violent home life, she allows herself to be seduced into living with a young man, who soon deserts her. When her self- righteous mother rejects her, Maggie becomes a prostitute to survive, but soon commits suicide out of despair. Crane's earthy subject matter and his objective, scientific style, devoid of moralizing, earmark Maggie as a naturalist work.[1] Stephen Crane and Maggie within the Context of Naturalism Maggie′s story is a story about the downfall of a girl living under circumstances, which only allow her to choose between the poor life of a working girl and the more prosperous life of a prostitute. She tries both and as she is too naive or not tough enough, she ends up killing herself out of moral despair. There are obviously naturalistic features in Maggie, such as the effect of environment and the slum setting of the novel. On the other hand, we find verbal irony and a main protagonist that appears strangely untouched by her environment. All the characters are drawn with their own frame of mind without recognizable comment that makes up this particular irony. The setting in Maggie might be regarded as a naturalistic one, but the style obviously is not. The verbal irony, Crane′s technique of

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