"Gainsay who dare" Hagar's lack of Emotional growth in Margaret Lawrence's "The Stone Angel"

Essay by mirellexoxHigh School, 12th gradeA, May 2007

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Hagar, the protagonist of Margaret Lawrence's The Stone Angel, has the emotional maturity of a child. Throughout the novel, Hagar is portrayed as someone who never fully developed emotionally. Her impulsive actions and inability to make connections with others are the causes of her immaturity. Hagar's past allowed her to build an emotional mask, which prevents others from getting close to her. Hagar uses these techniques as defence mechanisms to protect her inner child from being shown. Hagar uses her tough exterior to hide the characteristics of the weak child inside.

Hagar's impulsive actions demonstrate her lack of emotional growth. Hagar's impulsivity is revealed through her relationships with other people. This is best shown in an argument with her father, regarding her marrying Bram Shipley. Jason Currie states, "There's not a decent girl in this town, who would we without her father's consent. It's not done."

Hagar responds by saying, "It'll be done by me." 'I said, drunk with the exhilaration at my daring.'(42) This shows that Hagar's motive for marrying Bram is out of spite towards her father. Hagar liked the rush she got from disobeying him. Hagar exhibits her impulsivity when she leaves Bram. After Bram had an incident that involved the RCMP, Hagar becomes so ashamed by him, that she feels that she must leave. This displays Hagar's sudden decisions because she doesn't wait to see what happens. When things get rough, Hagar's impulse is to run away. She displays this impulse when she ran away from Marvin and Doris. Hagar immediately focuses on the negatives which lead her to rash decisions. This is shown when she meets Murphy F. Lees. Hagar states, "You've come for me, have you? Well I'll not go. Marvin didn't tell you what he...