Maggie: A Girl of the Streets Themes & Topics

This Study Guide consists of approximately 52 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Maggie.
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By setting the entire story within the confines of the Bowery, having the Johnson parental behavior passed on to Jimmie, having Pete able to brag about his conquests, and offering numerous other instances of repeated or forced behavior, Crane argues that all the people of the slums are victims; they are trapped by their circumstances and therefore unable to change. Their behaviors are to be treated as symptomatic of living in the slums. This controlling environment argument was popular with the ministers and social reformers of Crane's day.

Crane, however, also uses almost all of his characters to counter this argument.

He shows them to be motivated by selfish desires and demanding of others to meet their needs. Mary Johnson chooses to drink excessively, be physically and verbally abusive toward her family, and destroy the work of others. She is angry and makes everyone around her pay for...

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This section contains 457 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Maggie: A Girl of the Streets Study Guide
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