The Tragic Life of Hagar Depicted in Margaret Lawrence's The Stone Angel

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In the novel, The Stone Angel, by Margaret Lawrence, the author constructs the main character, Hagar, with a deep, unique personality. The journey through Hagar’s life begins in a cemetery in the summer where the blossoms hanged, the disrespectful wind blew, and once and a while, the scent of the cowslips would rise. The flowers and graveyard seem to act as a parallel between the good and bad events of Hagar’s life. Margaret Lawrence describes the struggles and obstacles this tragic hero has to face through the mistakes of the past and the problems of the present. Hagar’s character is very strong because she struggles with emotion with the people around her. We can see this because she tries not to show emotion when her father slaps her hand but didn’t want to let him see her cry. She also refused to hold her dying brother because she didn’t want to show fear and portray her mother, Hagar stated “I can’t, I’m not a bit like her”. Instead of trying to deal with her problems, she runs away from them making her weaker, both physically and mentally. The reader can strongly relate to Hagar’s life problems about aging, marriage, and family disputes because the feelings she expresses are feelings many people experienced. As Hagar escapes her problems, she creates a barrier through her own wall of strength and refuses to let anybody break through it. This barrier represents her free will and the experiences in the past that shapes her current character in the novel. Hagar’s life is tragic and depressing because of how she was raised and the people she communicated with. Her father was a bad example of a good parent. Deep down, her father most likely wanted Hagar to have a good life, but went too far and did... ... middle of paper ... ...oes Hagar. On her deathbed, she remembers flashbacks of her past and the mistakes she has made, She was too focused on building a strong and proud character when she should have been alive, and open to others. "I take off my hat - it's hardly suitable for here, anyway, a prim domestic hat sprouting cultivated flowers. Then with considerable care I arrange the jades and copper pieces in my hair. I glance into my purse mirror. The effect is pleasing. They liven up my gray, transform me." The reader can learn that no matter how far you go or what you do to escape your problems, they will always come back and you will have to face it on your own in order to grow spiritually and mentally. Hagar finally reaches her independence when she accepts Marvin and takes the water into her hands. The tragedy is that when Hagar realizes her mistakes, it’s already too late.

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