Last updated: August 14, 2019
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Stone Angel Essay, Research Paper

The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence

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The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence is a heart-warming narrative of a 90 twelvemonth old adult female who is approaching decease and who has really small to look back on with pride. Her life had been ruled by her concern of outward visual aspects and manners. Although she frequently felt love and felicity, she refused to demo it fearing it may be viewed by others as a failing. Hagar inherited this strong pride from her male parent, Jason Currie, along with other hapless qualities. Throughout her life, Hagar is urgently seeking to get away. First, she tries to get away from her household, largely her male parent, but in so making she besides cuts herself off from her brother, Matt. She besides ends up go forthing her hubby, Brampton. Second, Hagar tries to get away from her ain hapless qualities to which she is confined ; trying to make full the emptiness within her. Finally and futilely, she tries to get away decease. All of these efforts fail drearily. Throughout the narrative of the fresh many images are put away repetitiously to help the development of Hagar & # 8217 ; s character and the chief subjects. The Stone Angel is a really effectual narrative due mostly to the scriptural, H2O, and flower imagination.

The scriptural imagination is really strong and can be found legion times throughout the novel. The name of the chief character, Hagar, is besides the name of a manus amah in a scriptural narrative. Many analogues are made between Margaret Laurence & # 8217 ; s Hagar and the scriptural Hagar. The Hagar in the Bible was to gestate a boy with the hubby of her proprietor, Sarah, who, herself, was unable to gestate. Hagar did bear a boy but Sarah became really covetous of Hagar and had her thrown out into the wilderness. Hagar & # 8217 ; s boy was born and they both returned to the topographic point where Sarah and her hubby, Abraham Laurence & # 8217 ; s hubby to Hagar was named Brampton to repeat Abraham ) , lived. Hagar and her boy were cast into the wilderness one time once more when Sarah bore a boy of her ain and Hagar & # 8217 ; s boy, Ishmael, mocked Sarah & # 8217 ; s kid. Nearing decease, Hagar and her boy were saved by God who provided them with a well of H2O. The Hagar in The Stone Angel is really similar to the Hagar in the bible. Laurence & # 8217 ; s Hagar became a housekeeper to Bram after she married him, which is dry for a adult female with her qualities. Hagar realizes this and sees herself as a bondswoman ( this is besides how the scriptural Hagar is described ) ; hence, she feels trapped like a captive. Hagar says, & # 8220 ; I was entirely, ne’er anything else, and ne’er free, for I carried my ironss within me, & # 8221 ; ( pg. 261 ) therefore demoing Hagar as a prisoner of her place, emotions, and her pride. The two Hagars are besides really similar in that they both go into the wilderness. Hagar Shipley goes out into the wilderness when she leaves her male parent to get married Bram and live on his farm. The difference between the two Hagars if that Hagar Shipley is non confronted by a godly manifestation like the Egyptian Hagar. Hagar & # 8217 ; s vision and realisation comes when she and her favorite boy, John, leave place. Hagar easy begins to see John & # 8217 ; s true character. Hagar Shipley wished her boy was like Jacob, a faithful boy in the Old Testament ; nevertheless, she shortly realized that he was non similar Jacob. When Hagar returned to Manawaka, the statue of the rock angel had been pushed over and she requested that her boy, John, fix it. Hagar says, & # 8220 ; I wish he could hold looked like Jacob so, wrestling with the angel and outdoing it, contorting a approval from it with his might. But no. & # 8221 ; ( pg. 159 ) . Hagar & # 8217 ; s 2nd journey into the wilderness was when she fled to Shadow Point. Here, Hagar realized that her other boy, Marvin, was her Jacob and that she had favored the incorrect boy. The Hagar in the Old Testament bore a wild boy, Ishmael, but she besides created a faithful boy, Jacob ( descendant of Isaac ) . The analogues between The Stone Angel and the scriptural Hagar are so strong that the effectivity of Margaret Laurence & # 8217 ; s work rises dramatically.

The H2O imagination presented many times in the novel helped to develop the subject of decease. As everyone knows, H2O is viewed as the centre of life since, without it, life would discontinue to be. An illustration of this is when the drouth occurred in Manawaka. Hagar returned during the drouth to happen all of the Shipley & # 8217 ; s flowers and veggies dead. & # 8220 ; They & # 8217 ; vitamin D had no H2O this twelvemonth, & # 8221 ; says Hagar, non yet recognizing that she, excessively, has lived most of her life in a drouth. The H2O she was deprived of was that of a wil

vitamin D and free spirit that could show itself without restraint. Hagar experiences an existent deficiency of H2O when she goes on her visit at Shadow Point. She had gone shopping on the manner to her finish and had forgotten to purchase H2O. “I’ve non had a bead of H2O since – I can’t retrieve how long it’s been. A long time… Water, H2O everyplace nor any bead to imbibe. That’s my quandary, ” ( pg. 166 ) thinks Hagar. This had ever been Hagar’s quandary ; life ever surrounded her but she could ne’er hold a gustatory sensation of what life truly meant. Hagar’s interior feelings and emotions had been deceasing of thirst all her life and now she feared she might physically decease of thirst. After being found at Shadow Point, she was brought to a infirmary where she was to decease. As she lay in her decease bed she requests a glass of H2O to slake her thirst and says as her daughter-in-law attempts to assist her,

& # 8220 ; I merely defeat myself by non accepting her. I know this & # 8211 ; I know it really good. But I can & # 8217 ; t assist it & # 8211 ; it & # 8217 ; s my nature. I & # 8217 ; ll imbibe from this glass, or slop it, merely as I choose & # 8230 ; I wrest from her the glass, full of H2O to be had for the pickings. I hold it in my ain hands. & # 8221 ;

The drink of H2O symbolizes a cleaning of herself, of her guilt. Even in her concluding proceedingss of life her pride won & # 8217 ; t let her to accept her daughter-in-law & # 8217 ; s assist. This glass of H2O was an effort at rejuvenating herself for life after decease.

The flower imagination aids the narrative by demoing the two opposing ways to populate your life. In the novel there is imagination of wild flowers and of cultivated flowers. Much like people, some are wild and others are tame or predictable. Hagar lived most of her life like a cultivated flower. Her interior responses are natural and wild ; nevertheless, externally she acts rationally and tamely in fright of her overall visual aspect being effected if she acted spontaneously. Cultivated flowers symbolize decease in that they are non permitted to turn freely and of course, the really cause of their being is being destroyed by their unnaturalness. The aroma & # 8220 ; Lily of the Valley & # 8221 ; , which was given to Hagar by her granddaughter, Tina, was a symbol of decease. Hagar says to herself, & # 8220 ; I would non anticipate her to cognize that the lilies of the vale, so white and about excessively strongly sweet, were the flowers we used to weave into the garlands for the dead. & # 8221 ; ( pg. 28 ) . This was boding Hagar & # 8217 ; s decease ) . Hagar held a high fondness for lilacs, the flowers which grew at the Shipley topographic point. These flowers were non taken attention of and they & # 8220 ; hung like Bunches of mild mauve grapes & # 8221 ; . ( pg.25 ) . Similarly, Hagar did non care about populating a normal, natural life, which caused her to be in suffering conditions, much like the lilacs. When Hagar returned to the Shipley topographic point old ages subsequently, all the flowers were dead. Her lilacs were & # 8220 ; burnt yellow, and the subdivisions snapped if you touched them, & # 8221 ; ( pg. 150 ) and her marigolds, which she ever took attention of, were & # 8220 ; a dead loss & # 8221 ; . ( pg. 150 ) . The decease of her marigolds showed how making life unnaturally will non work, since her marigold were cultivated continuously. Hagar & # 8217 ; s life was lived unnaturally, with really small naturalness or spontaneousness, therefore she stifled her enjoyment of a free life for the interest of visual aspects. When Hagar went off on her concluding journey of self-discovery, she realizes she has led a hapless, unreal life and although this realisation has come really tardily in her life, she tries to make off with this ostentation. At one point Hagar takes off her chapeau which was & # 8220 ; a dainty domestic chapeau shooting cultivated flowers & # 8221 ; ( pg. 193 ) and replaced the chapeau with dead June bugs, in an attempt to be natural.

There is other imagination ( such as mirror imagination ) which besides helps to develop Margaret Laurence & # 8217 ; s narrative ; nevertheless, it wasn & # 8217 ; t personally seen every bit powerful as the 1s discussed. All the imagination throughout the novel helps the subjects, characters, or secret plan to be more effectual. The scriptural imagination aids the development of Hagar & # 8217 ; s character and the secret plan. The H2O imagination helps to set up the subject of decease and to try the impossible & # 8211 ; escape from decease. The flower imagination showed the manner Hagar lived her life and the manner she should hold lived her life. Margaret Laurence is superb in her usage of imagination to further impel the strength of her narrative. Without this outstanding application of imagination, the novel The Stone Angel would non be about every bit powerful as portrayed.

Bibliography

Stone Angel