Q 1 Naturalism in "Maggie: A Girl Of The Streets"

Essay by rakeshcalton November 2006

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Stephen Crane in his book Maggie: A girl of the Streets, used Maggie to convey devastating consequences that befall those violating the social and economic boundaries set upon them at birth. Crane's supposed norms of the world often impart naturalistic qualities to his work. Naturalism is synonymous with characters being pitted against forces that are beyond their control. The naturalists of Crane's day believed that social circumstances were natural and unavoidable.

Crane supports naturalism, when he offers Maggie the initiative to venture beyond her circumstances without assigning any reason. Maggie has the choice when she arrives at the mental crossroads in her life, whether to submit to the social norms ascribed of her class or venture forth and fight them. Maggie's brother, Jimmie submits to the assumed cultural standards of his class and manages to survive gaining life at the price of his individualism. Whereas Maggie, chose to follow her own will, lost her life, but, gained her individualism.

Maggie grows up under conditions, which repress all good impulse, stunt the moral growth, and render her to be a creature of the streets. The environment created by the author determined Maggie's fate rather than by her actions as a response to the environment. Maggie falls in love with a charming bartender, dreaming of escaping her harsh life only to be condemned by all and sundry and abandoned by her lover. Crane's earthy subject matter and his objective, scientific style, devoid of moralizing, earmark Maggie as a naturalist work.

Q2. Mystery of Heroism

Though Stephen Crane never been to war his depiction of war is very close to reality. In Mystery of Heroism, Stephen Crane depicts a young man having a reputation of a coward striving to earn the reputation of a brave youth. The Mystery of Heroism is full...