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"The Stone Angel" By Margaret Laurence's

942 words - 4 pages

In Margaret Laurence's The Stone Angel, the main character Hagar Shipley refused to compromise which shaped the outcome of her life as well as the lives of those around her. 'Pride was my wilderness and the demon that led me there was fear... [I was] never free, for I carried my chains within me, and they spread out from me and shackled all I touched.' (Laurence, 292). Hagar's pride and stubbornness were the causes of her failed relationships and lack of love in her life. Her excessive pride destroyed her relationships with her father, brother and husband. It also led to the death of her son John. Her stubbornness caused her marriage to dissolve, Marvin to be unhappy, her daughter-in-law's frustration, and her own death.Hagar's overwhelming pride was the reason she could not show love nor affection to those around her. She inherited her pride from her father and from an early age she always refused to show emotion because she was too proud to let anyone see her weaknesses. Her father made aware that she had 'backbone' (p.10) and that 'she took after him' (p.10). The first sigh of Hagar's excessive pride was shown when her father scolded her for telling a customer that there were bugs in the barrel of raisins. She refused to cry before and after the punishment: 'I wouldn't let him see me cry, I was so enraged' (p.9). She continued to build a wall around herself to hide her emotions. Her pride interfered with many relationships in her life. When her brother Dan was dying, her other brother Matt asked her to put on her mother's shawl and pretend to be her to comfort Dan. Hagar refused: '...however much a part of me wanted to sympathise. To play at being her- it was beyond me' (p.25). Hagar was to proud to pretend to be her weak mother even for her dying brother. Matt resented the fact that Hagar refused to do a favour for Dan and therefore Matt and Hagar's relationship was ruined. Even though Hagar got married to Bram she didn't really feel any love for him. Her 'hoity-toity' (p.06) attitude prevented her from showing emotion and tenderness towards her husband. She never let him know how she felt about him: '... I never let him knew. I never spoke aloud... I prided myself on keeping my pride intact' (p.81). Hagar's pride also destroyed her relationship with her son John. One night John brought Arlene home to stay but Hagar was to proud to let her stay and refused. They were later killed in a car accident and Hagar then realised that if she had compromised then maybe they would have been alive. She apologised too late: 'I didn't mean it, about not bring her here... You could come here in...

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