Plot summary[ edit ] In a series of vignettes, The Stone Angel tells the story of Hagar Shipley, a year-old woman struggling to come to grips with a life of intransigence and loss. The themes of pride and the prejudice that comes from social class recur in the novel. As a young girl she refuses to rock her dying brother in the garments of their mother. As a young woman she marries against her father's wishes, severing the family ties.
Continually throughout The Stone Angel in her reminiscences, she refers to her uncompromising pride, her determination to survive, her abhorrence of weakness in others.
Throughout her life she feared being open and honest with herself and her family. Most noteworthy is her constant aversion to crying, of regarding it as an embarrassing admission of weakness, no matter what the reason. Even nearing the end of her life she proudly tried to retain her independence: Her marriage and family life seems in retrospect an emotional disaster, much of it her own doing.
She was emotionally frigid even during extreme intimacy: We see that she knows, if rather vaguely, that her words are an inadequate reflection of her thoughts — yet she does not yet begin to question why.
It must have made Bram exasperated, and eventually passively subdued. After an argument he patronizes her with an apology: Get down on my bended knees?
She does not change, and her denunciation of an association with Bram as he lay sick, shows her power of contempt. Is she acknowledging that maybe, she might have been able to do something before? And she does say, too: She watches the boy collecting clamshells and the girl tidily organizing them, and setting up house, thinking: An awakening to her own experience?
As her son Marvin left to war: When her son John is in the hospital, a strange interchange takes place. But before I could speak or move, he laughed, a low harsh laugh that increased his pain.
Her awareness of her failure is increasing, especially in the context that this revelation is being said aloud to Murray F. Her courage must be admired, however it may be judged.
The night my son died, I was transformed to stone and never wept at all. She sees then that her procrastinations and withholding of feelings could have somehow alleviated matters — yet, years later, back into the present, we see her still attempting to truly clarify her intentions, as she talks with Steve: I want to tell him.
This is what I think… I would have liked to tell him he is dear to me.
She brings herself down or up?Poor Hagar Shipley. Unreconciled to old age and approaching death, relentlessly critical, unable to reach out to others, always ready to think the worst of people, Hagar is a stone angel indeed.
Discussion of themes and motifs in Margaret Laurence's The Stone Angel.
eNotes critical analyses help you gain a deeper understanding of The Stone Angel so you can excel on your essay or test. The monument is a stone angel brought at great price from Italy. The heroine of the story wonders if the angel is still there, and notes with irony that the angel was "doubly blind," not only made of stone, but also carved without eyeballs, yet stands in the cemetery to guide the townspeople to heaven.
Margaret Laurence’s The Stone Angel: In Margaret Laurence’s The Stone Angel, the main character Hagar Shipley refused to compromise which shaped the .
Stone Angel Death is a subject that everyone fears because they associate death with their end and hope for a new beginning. In The Stone Angel, Hagar is no different.
When she faces the reality of growing old she is faced with a journey. Pride. The dominant theme of The Stone Angel is that of timberdesignmag.com Hagar herself realizes in a moment of insight near the end of the novel, "Pride was my wilderness, and the demon that led me there was fear.".