Stone Angel - Hagar as a Product of her Environment

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Stone Angel - Hagar as a Product of her Environment Since the commencement of our world, there have been those such as Hitler, Einstein and Hitchcock, whose very name stands apart from the masses; their distinct aura symbolized something far greater than just a simple human life. Such a statement can be applied to Hagar Shipley, the protagonist from the novel The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence, and hold true. Hager is a unique character, whose essence rises above others, such that after understanding the journey of her life, her first name evokes a series of emotion within the reader. Due to her crass nature and uncompromising pride, one questions if the prestigious background of the Currie clan sculpted such. In addition, during her young life set in the nineteenth century Manawaka society, a high importance was placed on social status. This feeling of superiority over others traveled with Hagar into womanhood. Although it may be argued that one possess the ability to control her own existence, when the intricate web of elements that complete Hagar's life are considered, it becomes evident that her life, in its entity, is a consequence of her environment. Throughout the period of her childhood, Hagar was relentlessly educated of the Currie family glory. Her father exuberantly reminded the children that the "Curries are Highlanders" (Laurence, 15) from the "Sept of the Clanranald MacDonalds" (Laurence, 15). Such self-righteous episodes, installed a false pride deep within young Hagar, as she wholeheartedly believed that her wealthy Scottish relatives "lived in castles"(Laurence, 15). This exaggeration of the Currie past fueled Hagar's feeling of superiority over others. It was this Currie... ... middle of paper ... ...bringing. The unbending pride associated with her character was an inheritance from her father and the past Currie glory, while the town and her status as a young girl shaped her speech and manner. Over the years, Hagar has come to represent the stone angel that marks her mother's grave, but not a beautiful image of serenity, as one may conjure when thinking of angels, but rather an expression of immovable pride that lead to her demise. Works Cited Brooks, April. "Girls in Nineteenth-Century Life". The Historian. December 18, 1992 <> Laurence, Margaret. The Stone Angel. Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1964 Thomson, Ross. "Beginnings of the Woman's Suffrage Movement". A History of Women. January 2000. <>

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