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Maggie, a Girl of the Streets and Selected Stories (Signet Classics) Mass Market Paperback – February 7, 2006

3.9 out of 5 stars 73 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"He was the first American writer because he was the first to be passionately interested in the life that surrounded him and the life that surrounded him was that of America."

From the Publisher

Designed for school districts, educators, and students seeking to maximize performance on standardized tests, Webster’s paperbacks take advantage of the fact that classics are frequently assigned readings in English courses. By using a running thesaurus at the bottom of each page, this edition of Maggie, A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane was edited for students who are actively building their vocabularies in anticipation of taking PSAT®, SAT®, AP® (Advanced Placement®), GRE®, LSAT®, GMAT® or similar examinations.

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 the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Series: Signet Classics
  • Mass Market Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Signet; Signet Classics edition (February 7, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451529987
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451529985
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.6 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #223,168 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
If I were pressed to use one word to describe this book itwould be dark. However, Crane's novel is a moving piece with momentsof transcendence and rampant dark humor.
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.
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Format: Paperback
I reread Stephen Crane's "Maggie: A Girl of the Streets" yesterday. It was the first time that I had revisited the book in almost thirty years. Originally, I read Crane's writings in a seminar course which compared his pioneering works to those of Ernest Hemingway. There were common themes in the works of both authors and they both employed a naturalistic style. Crane was more poetic, however, while Hemingway was more workmanlike in his choice of words and phrases.

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?
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Of all his works--'The Red Badge of Courage' included--Stephen Crane loved most his 'Maggie,' and for good reason.

'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.
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By A Customer on October 28, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Stephen Crane does a superb job of displaying the qualities of Naturalism in this story. He focuses on the lower classes, deals with an amoral set of ideas/decisions, displays a blatant attack on false values, a reformest agenda, imagery that is either animalistic or mechanistic, and a plot of decline that often leads to catastrophe through a deterministic sequence of causes and effects. Crane attacks both the romantic idealism and the moral posturing of the church in this novel. The animalistic imagery, displayed in the Darwinian landscape of Rum Alley, is significant, for it reinforces the work's naturalistic orientation: humans are viewed as extensions of the animal kingdom engaged in a Darwinian struggle for survival. This novel assails the hypocricy of the priest who offers condemnation instead of compassion, who claims to help people, yet turns a deaf ear to their pleas for help, and whose moral posturing encourages others to do the same. BRAVO! Crane....If you would like to discuss this novel in greater detail, email me.
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