The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence Essay

The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence Essay

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The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence



The Stone Angel by Margaret Laurence is a heart-warming story of a
ninety year old woman who is nearing death and who has very little to look
back on with pride. Her life had been ruled by her concern of outward
appearances and manners. Although she often felt love and happiness, she
refused to show it fearing it may be viewed by others as a weakness. Hagar
inherited this strong pride from her father, Jason Currie, along with other
poor qualities. Throughout her life, Hagar is desperately trying to escape.
First, she tries to escape from her family, mostly her father, but in so
doing she also cuts herself off from her brother, Matt. She also ends up
leaving her husband, Brampton. Secondly, Hagar tries to escape from her
own poor qualities to which she is captive; attempting to fill the
emptiness within her. Finally and futilely, she tries to escape death. All
of these attempts fail dismally. Throughout the narration of the novel many
images are put forth repetitiously to aid the development of Hagar's
character and the main themes. The Stone Angel is a very effective story
due largely to the biblical, water, and flower imagery.

The biblical imagery is very strong and can be found numerous times
throughout the novel. The name of the main character, Hagar, is also the
name of a hand maid in a biblical story. Many parallels are made between
Margaret Laurence's Hagar and the biblical Hagar. The Hagar in the bible
was to conceive a son with...


... middle of paper ...


...agery (such as mirror imagery) which also helps to
develop Margaret Laurence's story; however, it wasn't personally seen as
powerful as the ones discussed. All the imagery throughout the novel helps
the themes, characters, or plot to be more effective. The biblical imagery
aids the development of Hagar's character and the plot. The water imagery
helps to establish the theme of death and to attempt the impossible -
escape from death. The flower imagery showed the way Hagar lived her life
and the way she should have lived her life. Margaret Laurence is brilliant
in her use of imagery to further propel the strength of her story. Without
this outstanding application of imagery, the novel The Stone Angel would
not be nearly as powerful as portrayed.

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