The Stone Angel Essay

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Margaret Laurence's The Stone Angel is one of the most acclaimed Canadian novels of all time. In this novel, the most prevailing theme is that of pride; this is seen predominantly through the protagonist, Hagar, but also through other characters, such as Jason Currie. As John Moss states, "What gives Margaret Laurence's vision the resonant dimensions of universal truth is the…interlacing of the destructive and constructive effects of (Hagar's) recalcitrant pride…Pride is a double-edged sword." Indeed, her great pride helps her to cope with the many difficulties she faces throughout her life. This pride, however, also "separates inclination and response" (J. Moss), resulting in several strained relationships which Hagar was unable to mend. John Moss believes that "Hagar's pride repeatedly imprisoned her within the confines of thwarted affections and misdirected emotion." More specifically, her pride caused such things as an unhappy marriage with Brampton Shipley and a severance of all ties with her father, Jason, and her brother, Matt. Her pride serves her best in her dying days, when "she will not submit to frailty and deferential concern. She rages 'against the dying of the light' with the same wrong-headed spleen that she had always displayed…in the counterpoint present her…pride is heroic" (J. Moss). Analysis of the Theme of Pride via a Short Summation of Pride-Related Occurrences: • The first reference to pride is in the second sentence of the novel: Hagar describes the Stone Angel as "my mother's angel that my father bought in pride to mark her bones and proclaim his dynasty…" (3). Hagar's father was a very proud man, a trait that was passed on to his daughter, and he takes great pride in this "terribly expensive" statue, which "had been brought from Italy" … "and was pure white marble" (3). • Hagar recollects exhibiting her pride as early as age 6 when she

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