Evenings during the week he took her to see plays in which the brain-clutching heroine was rescued from the palatial home of her guardian, who is cruelly after her bonds, by the hero with the beautiful sentiments. The latter spent most of his time out at soak in pale-green snow storms, busy with a nickel-plated revolver, rescuing aged strangers from villains. (Crane 42-43)
The first issue that arises when looking at this section from the point of view of modern English, is the very first sentence. Starting the paragraph with the phrase “Evenings during the week he took her to see plays,” may be understood in modern English, but it doesn 't fit with standard practices of our language. Rather than starting out with the word “evenings,” it is more common to start off with the prepositional phrase, “during the week.” While this removes the clarification of the character taking her out during evenings, this can be remedied by using evening as an adjective in front of plays. This way, the overall meaning of the line is retained, but the sentence structure is more typical of current language practices. There are other instances throughout the work that could benefit from similarly small syntax changes. Another example would be, “Valiant noise was made on a stage at the end of the hall by an orchestra composed ...
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...ing of the rest of the sentence.
“Maggie: A Girl of the Streets,” is certainly a product of its time period, as many words and phrases are simply no longer in common use and has different sentence structures than we see today. However, Stephen Crane may even diverge from his own time period 's standards in language as reviews of his work at the time of publication included such statements as, “Mr. Crane has yet to learn that grotesque combinations of words and phrases do not constitute the basis of literary style” (Monteiro 101). This is by no means necessarily the correct or most accurate view of his work, but it does show that Crane did, according to a contemporary, not always adhere to standard practices. He was, however, praised by another individual as “A master of slum slang,” saying that, “His dialogues are surprisingly effective and natural” (Monteiro 103).
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