The Character of John Shipley in the novel The Stone Angel

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John Shipley is a very interesting character in Margaret Laurence's novel, The Stone Angel. The story is written from the point of view of Hagar Shipley, who is John's mother. We see John as he is portrayed through his mother's eyes. Hagar loved her son very much and it is possible her view of him is bias because of this. In this novel John Shipley is portrayed to us as being smart, cold and wild.

John was described by his mother as being somewhat intelligent. "He could count up to a hundred with no trouble at all, before he went to school, and knew all his letters perfectly," (Laurence, pg. 123) Here is a quote that shows us just how smart John was. Even before he went to school, he knew numbers and letters. John is shown to have been a quick thinker one time when Hagar is talking about her other son, Marvin.

Hagar makes the statement, "He's such a slow thinker, Marvin. He could never make up an excuse on the spur of the moment, as John could." (Laurence, pg. 117) It talks mainly about Marvin, but the statement is made that he is not like John, implying John to be a quick thinker. Hagar portrays John to be smart in this novel.

John was a secretive man in a sense. He never really told anyone how he felt. He was cold. We see how cold he is when other characters ask him how he feels, or if anything is wrong. When Jess asks him a question like this, the reply she receives is "Nothing's the matter, ... Everything's okay. Everything's all right." (Laurence, pg. 195) He's secretive and cold about his emotions and he won't let anyone in. Even when he cries, if someone reaches out...