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Discussing Imagery In Margaret Laurence's Novel "The Stone Angel".

1136 words - 5 pages

Discuss Laurence's use of three of the following images to develop characters/ themes in The Stone Angel.-flowers/earth -stone -animals -water -journey(physical/spiritual) -Scottish lineage______________________________As in any literary work, imagery is an essential element in accenting characters, and giving a better understanding of events as they progress. Of course, the novel "The Stone Angel" by Margaret Laurence is no exception. Imagery plays an important role in developing various themes and characters in the novel. Images such as flowers, the element of water, and even the stone angel itself, represent the themes of Hagar's outlook on life, the essence of life and lack there of, and the theme of pride respectively. The use of these images and their representation adds a sense of depth to the story, and puts the characters that much closer to the reader.When flowers are referred to in the novel, there are two main references: free, wild flowers and domestic, cultivated flowers. These two flower types represent both Hagar's outlook on life, and how she should have lived her life. Earlier on in her life, when Hagar attends college, she "upgrades" her attitude towards life and becomes a proper and civilized lady. Being the cultivated woman that she was, she stood proud and independent, and looked down upon that which was untamed and feral. Of course, this was exactly the case with her husband Bram, as he came from a very average family, and lacked the proper manners and etiquette which Hagar admired herself for. She was quite determined to transform her husband from the wild flower that he was, to a prim, potted plant, much like her. Then, as Hagar gets older, she realizes how desolate her life really was. She longed to be known as a proper and independent woman, cultivated to the point where no assistance is required. However, this was a failure, as she becomes completely dependent on her son Marvin in her old age. The beauty of her domestic flowers fades as her age pressed on.My marigolds were a dead loss by this time, of course. I'd planted them behind the house to use as cutting flowers and they'd kept on seeding themselves, but now only a few wizened ones remained, small unexpected dabs of orange among the choking weeds, dry sheep foot and thistle. The sunflowers had risen beside the barn as always, fed by the melting snow in the spring, but they'd had no other water this year - their tall stalks were hollow and brown, and the heavy heads hung over, the segments empty as unfilled honey-combs, for the petals had fallen and the centers had dried before the seeds could form. (Laurence 169)Before her death, Hagar reflects upon the decisions she has made in her life, and realizes that for all those years, she was trying so hard to fit a certain print, that in a sense, she had forgotten how to live. Just as the flowers had died without the water, she finally understood that living life without spontaneity or enjoyment, led her nowhere....

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