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The Stone Angel Study Guide Essay

9751 words - 39 pages

English 3201
Novel Study
The Stone Angel
Student Handbook

Overview of the Novel
The story is told from the viewpoint of Hagar Shipley, the protagonist in the
novel. Hagar is seen at the age of 90 years attempting to come to grips and
understand her life, as she reminisces about her childhood, her marriage, and her
struggle with life through flashbacks in the novel. The story reveals Hagar's
attempts to release her inner emotions and feelings in order to gain inner freedom
and peace before her death. Hagar is forgetful, spiteful, and effortlessly exudes
an endless amount of pride in her recollections as well as her present action. Her
father, from whom she inherits her pride, was one of the early settlers of the
town. The reader can see Hagar's relationships with the different people in her
life, from her father to her husband, and how she responds. The reader is taken
on a journey through Hagar's life as she remembers significant events of her past
as her life is coming to an end.
Significance of the Title The title The Stone Angel refers to the expensive monument that Hagar's
father imported to stand over the grave of his wife. The cemetery is a means
of proclaiming their family pride and asserting their dynastic aspirations. It is
ironic that the monument is an angel.
It is symbolic since both Hagar Currie and her father, Jason Currie, allow pride
to turn their personalities to "stone". The stone angel is a paradox since "stone" conjures up words like hard, cruel,
and cold, and the word "angel" conjures up words like soft, compassionate, kind,
warm, and caring. Hagar could have been a compassionate, loving angel because
she was a good person inside but let her pride stand in her way, and therefore
lived a cold and uncaring life.
Also, refer to the imagery of the stone angel to see the comparison between
the stone angel and Hagar.
 Refers to the expensive monument that Hagar's father imported to stand
over the grave of his wife
 The pride in both Jason and Hagar is what turns their personalities to stone
 It is ironic simply because it is a stone angel  It is a paradox since "stone" conjures up words like hard, cruel, and cold.
The word "angel" conjures up words like soft, compassionate, kind, and
caring. Hagar lives a cold, uncaring life because of her pride. Hagar could
have been a compassionate, loving angel because she was a good person on
the inside.

Setting: the place and time in which a story, drama, or film is set. The setting is also the scenery and other items used in a play or film.
The novel is set in Manawaka, Manitoba, a town which Margaret Laurence
invented but parallels immensely with her own hometown of Neepawa, Manitoba.
It resembles Neepawa in several ways, for instance the cemetery on the hill.
Also, Manawaka can be looked at as an amalgamation of several prairie towns and
has some characteristics of them, for example, the brown river in the novel
parallels with the brown river that runs...

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