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Maggie: A Girl of the Streets Paperback – January 17, 2013
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From the Publisher
PSAT® is a registered trademark of the College Entrance Examination Board and the National Merit Scholarship Corporation neither of which sponsors or endorses this book; SAT® is a registered trademark of the College Board which neither sponsors nor endorses this book; GRE®, AP® and Advanced Placement® are registered trademarks of the Educational Testing Service which neither sponsors nor endorses this book, GMAT® is a registered trademark of the Graduate Management Admissions Council which is neither affiliated with this book nor endorses this book, LSAT® is a registered trademark of the Law School Admissions Council which neither sponsors nor endorses this product. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
Basically, it is the story of Maggie, an undeveloped character who takes the back-seat to her loud and abusive parents, her swaggering, self-confident brother Jimmie and his friend, the boastful Pete.
The novel chronicles the injustices that surround Maggie, who is quiet and doesn't fight back. A chilling look at poor, urban life in the late 1800's, it is also a tale critical of society's judgmentality and questioning of morality. A more complex novel than it seems on first look, it is wonderful to take apart and examine the relationship between Maggie and Pete, Maggie and her mother, and Maggie and Jimmie.
Most importantly, however, are the quiet moments of transcendence in this novel.
This tragic story takes place in the slums and the garment district. Maggie is the daughter of two alcoholic Irish immigrants. Her youngest brother dies during early childhood. Her older brother spends his youth fighting rivals in the streets and enduring beatings at the hands of his intoxicated parents at home. In adulthood, Jimmie becomes a teamster and introduces his sister to his friend Pete, a well dressed local bartender. Pete is taken with Maggie's shape and begins courting her. Eventually, Maggie quits her five dollars a week job at the cuff and collar factory and leaves home with Pete. This ill considered decision is the beginning of her ruin. Pete cares nothing for Maggie. She is a only a passing fancy.
Environment determines everything in this sad tale. Alcoholic rages and casual acts of random violence occur on almost every page. Crane employs dialect to reflect the speech patterns of his characters. When Pete abandons Maggie for Nellie, a stylish prostitute, the saddest line of dialogue is Maggie's question: "Where kin I go?Read more ›
'Maggie' is the tale of an inevitable fall from grace on the part of a young, innocent girl trapped in the vicious world of New York City's slums. Yearning for acceptance and love, beaten at home by alcoholic parents, Maggie sets out with Pete, a local bartender whose "cultured" mannerisms elicit great respect from the impressionable young girl. However, when Pete spurns her for another, Maggie is ejected out onto the street, forced into prostitution to make a living. We last see her moving off, a huge, oily fat man in tow, for a darkened corner in the city's seedy underworld.
If Upton Sinclair's 'The Jungle' is a torrent of social anger and protest, Crane's 'Maggie' is like a brilliant lightning strike, flashing across our vision and leaving us temporarily blinded. The book--scarcely 70 pages--is succint, brutish, and merciless. Crane allows his readers to form their own opinions regarding the characters. His innovative use of near-phonetic spelling to depict in the reader's ear the local dialect of New York's rough neighborhoods was shocking and difficult to comprehend when the book was first released. It lends "Maggie" an air of earthy legitimacy.
Ultimately, "Maggie" is a cry for the plight of poor children--the souls we overlook with a callous unease mirrored in Pete's offhand, uncaring rejection of young Maggie's genuine love and affection. It is, without qualification, Stephen Crane's greatest and most moving achievement.
I have always cared more about "Maggie" than about the "Red Badge of Courage". It is difficult to understand why this is the case, other than perhaps the subject matter, but there have always been readers who also thought this way. It may be due to the intense, sincere character of this book, obviously the product of a young, rebellious man. I still love the book, even though I am older and presumably wiser than when I first read it years ago.
Maggie is set in the New York slums of the Bowery in the late 1890s. The plot is simple. Crane describes a family in the Bowery, the Johnsons, living in the midst of poverty, alcohol, violence, and squalor. For most of the book, the family consists of the alcoholic brutal mother, Mary, her wastrel, philandering son, Jim, and the young, innocently naive daughter, Maggie. Crane says Maggie "blossomed in a mud puddle. She grew to be a most rare and wonderful production of a tenement district, a pretty girl."
Maggie has a spirit-numbing job in a sweatshop. She soon takes up with a rakish bartender and friend of her brother, Nick. Maggie comes to see Nick ideally, as her knight. Nick soon seduces Maggie and her mother, in a show of righteousness, orders her to leave home.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a great American classic which I studied as a literature major at a prestigious university known for its literature department. It was not written for pleasure reading. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Pencil Pusher
Great book, deep and meaningful. However this version forces reader to review the book at end. At least this book waits until end. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kindle Customer
This was for my daughters English class, unfortunately, the last three chapters where so messed up that some of chapter 17 was in chapter 19 which then was in chapter 18. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Christine
Read this for a literature class and happened to really enjoy this book. It is a bit sad, but there is a lot for such a short book.Published 3 months ago by MD23
Good for high school reading assignment, not so much for a personal read...Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
I got this for a class. Interesting read. More than just the Maggie story for your reading pleasures.Published 10 months ago by A. B. Cyphers