People around the city hate Jimmie and Maggie’s family, theJohnson’s, because their parents drink and get rowdy in the middle of thenight. The atmosphere of this book is heavy and depressing, because all thepeople in the city are poor and then the author describes the horribleconditions that they live in. But when the main character dies, the emotionchanges, because the family comes together and you are filled with over joy. Characterization The main character in Crane’s Maggie: A Girl of the Streetsis Maggie, a girl born into a poor family that likes to get drunk and basicallyhave fist fights and try to literally kill one another.
Maggie is a self-assuredwoman, and she is basically a diamond in the rough. Where Maggie lives, thepeople really don’t count on physical looks, but Maggie on the other hand isthe most beautiful woman of the community. Maggie also likes to hide herfeelings a lot. This is shown when she gets a crush on one of her brother’sfriend, Pete. She goes around staring at him, but not saying really much.
Thisis also shown when she is at home. When her parents are drunk and fighting, shejust sits there, doing nothing and saying nothing. Basically, Maggie goes aroundand does her own thing and not getting influence by other people. The other maincharacter in Maggie: A Girl of the Streets is Jimmie, Maggie’s brother. Jimmie, in many ways is the exact opposite of his sister.
Jimmie is slightlyyounger and a lot more immature than Maggie is. Maggie may be a quiet person,but Jimmie, one the other hand, is a wild rambunctious kid, who all he wants todo is pick fights. Jimmie, at first, is seen fighting a rival gang and cussingand bleeding from head to toe. In a lot of ways, Jimmie is Maggie’s villain. At first it appears that he loves his sister and has a good relationship withher.
When Maggie starts going out with Pete, Jimmie turns against her sayingthat she ruined the family name, because she is a white girl going out with ablack man. Jimmie in the end, when his sister dies goes back to being lovingbrother. Plot To have the emotional ups and downs of Crane’s Maggie: A Girl ofthe Streets, one must know what goes on within the story. The story unfolds byputting the reader right in the action, with Jimmie Johnson fighting a group ofrival gang member’s in a back alley of a major city during the late 19thcentury.
Jimmie was getting beat up so bad that he had blood dripping from hisface like sweat. Then his father showed up, and took him by the ear and draggedhim all the way home. When Jimmie came home, his mother found out that he hadbeen fighting and started beating him up. When she is doing this, the neighborslisten to all the cures they are saying to one another. When Jimmie’s fatherhad had enough of watching his son, he stepped in and then the mother and thefather were fist fighting until they both passed out. This would happen in theirhouse hold almost every day.
Maggie would be there and she would watch andwouldn’t really get too involved with them. When this is over, 4 years hadpassed and Jimmie and Maggie’s father had died so the family would be down to3. Jimmie has now taken a shine to drinking and coming home drunk all the time,and Maggie had grown to be the most beautiful woman in town. Maggie is adored bylots of guys, but she really isn’t interested in any of the guys.
Their mom,still drinks and abuses both of her kids if they do anything wrong, even thoughher husband is not there to stop her from killing them. One day, Jimmie bringshome his black friend, Pete. For some reason, Maggie falls in love with him,from the first moment she sees him. They start talking and Pete decides to takeMaggie out to a club that has performances nightly. She goes to them and thenshe is hooked, she likes black entertainment. Her mom on the other decides thatshe does not like it and says that she is damned top hell for going out withhim, so Maggie gets really angry and leaves home, not thinking about comingback.
Maggie will return one more time, but does not stay very long, because hermom doesn’t show a lot of respect to her and still insisting that she will goto hell for messing with the family name. Maggie will soon die for unlistedreasons and, then her mother finally thinks that she did her daughter wrong. Inthe end her mother finally forgives her daughter for disgracing the family’sname. And says that all people can make it to heaven sinned or not sinned.
PointOf View The novel, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets, by Stephen Crane uses a uniquepoint of view. The story is told in third person omniscient point of view. Thereis no narrator; we the audience are the narrator and we can read the people’sminds and know what they are thinking through and outside observer. We know thecharacter’s thoughts and feelings through this outside observer and notthrough the characters thoughts and actions. Some one always tells us what isgoing on. When Jimmie was being hit in the face by rocks in the opening scene,we knew that it was not hurting as much as he was mad at the people throwing therocks at him.
Another example is when Jimmie, Pete, and Maggie are sitting atthe dinner table. We know that Maggie was falling in love with Pete, because anoutside person was telling us this. We know the most because we can also drawconclusions from the actions, too. In the end, the story makes more sense, butyou are more limited in drawing your own conclusions, because some one else has. Theme The theme of Crane’s Maggie: A Girl of the Streets is shown to thereader with Maggie’s constant struggle with trying to fit in with her familyand especially her mother.
Crane’s message is somewhat clear and that is thatwhether you are alive or not, people will always forgive you and make anew. Thismeans that no matter how much bad things a person does, their true friends andfamilies will always forgive for wrong doing. This is supported with the storyof Maggie and going against her family’s beliefs of not dating a person of adifferent race. She didn’t care, and for that she lost her family, and theirsupport. Both her mother and her brother did not even want to be around her atall, they hated her like dirt.
Finally, when Maggie dies, the mother and Jimmiefeel really guilty and in the end, they forgive her, which proves that everyoneeventually forgives everyone else, even if something tragic has to happen. Thisstory’s theme resembles what the world is probably moving to. Countries willforgive countries and hopefully world peace will finally break out.