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Hagar's Redemption In The Stone Angel

701 words - 3 pages

In a series of illustrations, The Stone Angel is a story of a 90 year old woman, Hagar Shipley, struggling with life. Hagar Shipley is the most cynical old woman in human history, always torturing those around her. This woman is always pessimistic and looks on the bad sides of things and later realizes how being so gloomy-eyed she has withered into nothingness. By treating everyone so badly she has never made any friends and family does not want to be with her except for her sons Marvin and John who are biologically programmed to love her. In this passage from The Stone Angel, the theme of pride and the author’s symbolism help to develop the characters.
The theme of pride leads to the corruption in the character of Hagar Shipley. Hagar Shipley illustrates her pride as a coping mechanism when she is faced with her journey to death. When Hagar's son John passes, she is faced with the fear of dying herself because she has lost almost everybody around her so to maintain being a strong woman she keeps her pride. Hagar had struggled with maintaining her pride but still said "I straightened my spine, and that was the hardest thing I've ever had to do in my entire life, to stand straight then”. Hagar Shipley's pride is used to concrete over her feelings because she thinks that will show her off as a weak woman. Hagar is very independent as the other women from the funeral brew tea in the kitchen where most women lie, she is in a different room coating over her feelings for John. The other women described how well Hagar was handling the death, however Hagar's pride is so strong at this point she is no longer a human therefore she is not able to have feelings towards this situation. Later on Hagar loses this pride and eventually becomes a human again, however this theme of pride is very important throughout the novel as Hagar manipulates those around her and they begin to have pride and turn into stone.
The symbolic...

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