Margaret Laurence's "The Stone Angel".

Essay by MeghanDunfordHigh School, 12th gradeA+, November 2003

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In Margaret Laurence's The Stone Angel the main character Hagar Shipley refuses to compromise which ultimately shapes the outcome of her life as well as those around her. As an older woman faced with death, Hagar comments that, "pride was my wilderness and the demon that led me there was fear... [I was] never free, for I carried my chains within me, and they spread out from me and shackled all I touched."(292) Hagar's stubbornness and pride are the cause for the lack of love in relationships in her life. Hagar's excessive pride destroys relationships with her father, Jason Currie, her child Marvin and her husband Bram.

Hagar's relationship with her fathers is the first and key alliance in her life. This relationship is the first monumental step that turns her into an unyielding "stone". As a child Hagar takes pride in her father's ability to have a successful life by becoming "a self made man [who] had pulled himself up by his bootstraps."(7)

And rising above his initial state of poverty, from growing from nothing into something. Jason's strong-willed personality and unwillingness to show any form of weakness through emotions becomes a cornerstone of Hagar's own pride and lack of emotions. Hagar's first display of pride is when she is too proud to cry in front of her father when he hits her in punishment for lying. Hagar says later to herself, "I perceive the tears...I fell they are like the incontinent wetness of the infirm. They are no tears of mine. I dismiss them, blaspheme against them - let them be gone."(31) Hagar gains the resolve to put forth the image of strength at all times and she begins to hide her vulnerability with her pride. Hagar wishes to please Jason but her prideful and stubborn personality...