The Stone Angel By Margaret Laurence

Category: Angel, Writer
Last Updated: 19 Apr 2023
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At ninety, Hagar Shipley speaks touchingly of the dangers of growing old and reflects with bitterness, humor, and a sorrowful perception of her own frailties on the life She has led. In this story circumstances and character traits are most influential in shaping the lives of the characters, especially Hagar Shipley. An example of a character trait that is most influential in shaping the live of a character is at the beginning of this novel.

From her childhood as a daughter of a Scottish merchant to her marriage, Hagar has fought a long and wrong battle for freedom and respect. Her life has been ruled by her concern of external appearances and behavior. Although She felt love and happiness, She refused to show it fearing others may view it as a weakness. Hagar has divided feelings about her husband, her passionate fondness to one son, Marvin, and her negligence of another, John. She is sometimes regretful but rarely sorry.

The main internal characteristic responsible for this was her pride. This is supported by the comment she made: "Pride was my wilderness and the demon that led me there was fear. " She has been afraid of being unrespectable, afraid of needing too much and giving too much and her pride is both unsettling and inspirational. Hagar inherited this strong pride from her father, Jason Currie, along with other poor qualities. However, Hagar tries to escape from her own poor qualities to which She is imprisoned; attempting to stuff the emptiness within her.

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Throughout her life, Hagar is desperately trying to escape. Even though Hagar has pride of herself, She becomes progressively more powerless to care for herself and therefore becomes an unbearable tension on her son, Marvin and his wife, Doris. This tension makes them decide to put her in a nursing home because they can no longer take care of her. She is full of anger, but is childlike and illogical. She needs support with almost everything, yet She irritably refuses aid. Despite her knowing that She is a worry, she denies it herself.

Despite character traits being most significant, circumstances within this story too are also as influential as the character traits. An illustration of this is the use of Lilacs by the author, Margaret Laurence, to indicate many bad events in The Stone Angel. This color is portrayed through a silk dress that Hagar wears many times in this novel. The Lilac dress is introduced on the day that Hagar purchases the dress. She refers to the past on the day She bought the dress with Doris, her daughter in law. I wear my lilac silk because the day seems Sunday... How annoyed She was with me when I bought this dress. " She mentions that her feet are aching and is very tired. Doris on the other hand does not think this silk is worth buying. Though she does not like this dress Doris thinks she will buy it anyways and this started all the bad happenings that are related to this lilac silk dress. One such bad happening in the novel is when She wears the lilac silk dress at the dinner table with Marvin and Doris. She then notices that something is wrong. "What is it?

I want to shout the question impatiently at the face. Instead I fold my hands, as I am meant to do over my silk lilac belly, and wait. " She later finds out that She lives in with her husband and her family for many years. Doris keeps on pushing Marvin to tell Hagar that She should let go of the house and move on with her life. Hagar feels that her life is joyful and does not think that She needs a change. As a conclusion, circumstances and character traits have both been most influential in shaping the lives of the characters in The Stone Angel.

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The Stone Angel By Margaret Laurence. (2017, Aug 20). Retrieved from

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