Futility of escape is a strong theme in the novel The Stone Angel. Placed in a setting of the Canadian Prairies, the characters try almost anything to dodge there own destiny that has been forced upon them. All they want is an escape, from their unyielding sense of emptiness, from family problems, and from their unavoidable fate. Nevertheless, no matter how hard or how little they try, they just seemed doomed to failure.
Hagar Currie Shipley is a character that is like no other in Canadian literature. She cannot be compared to other modern characters because she is one which the reader comes to dislike and is interested by. Her father was a successful Scottish merchant, who strongly disapproved of the husband she chose. Hagar inherited her father's hard and unforgiving personality. Hagar is stuck in a joyless life, never revealing her true feelings to anyone, even her own family.
She finds her self shocked by her husband's old country attitude and contemptuous of her son's aspirations.
We find her in the last stages of her long life, where she is being looked after by her first born, least appreciated, son and his wife. Even as a ninety year old person, she remains judgmental, mean, and independent.
"Oh, I hate being helped, my voice is pettish and doesn't resemble at all the fury inside me. I've always done things for myself" "Haven't you ever given a hand to anyone in your time? It's your turn now. Try to look at it that way. It's your due." We are taken back through the events in her life that have made her into the person she is now. As she tells her story, Hagar also looks back to Manawaka (a fictionalized small town that Laurence has placed in Manitoba), recalling...