Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Maggie: A Girl of the Streets & Other Stories by Stephen Crane

Maggie: A Girl of the Streets and Other StoriesMaggie is an astonishing novel of social realism, which parallels many of today's ills. Set in the urban squalor of New York in the 1890's,it follows the careers of the innocent Maggie and her brother Jimmie, children of brutal and drunken parents. It is a tour-de-force equal to The Red Badge of Courage.

Also included in this volume are seven of Stephen Crane's short stories. The Monster is a novelette which provides a bitter commentary on man's inhumanity to man; The Blue Hotel, a tale of murder in a small Nebraska town; His New Mittens, which concerns the reflections of a runaway boy, is followed by four stories of sensation and excitement.
My thoughts: These stories were, as with most short story collections, a bit of a mixed bunch. Some I liked (The Monster, His New Mittens), some not so much.
Overall the book was ok, but I felt like I was missing something. Half of the stories just left me feeling confused and like "What the...?".
The title story Maggie started off really well, with Maggie and her brother as children. I thought I was going to enjoy it, but then it jumped ahead to when Maggie was grown up and it just went a bit weird.
I liked The Monster. It was about a black slave who tries to save a boy from a burning building and is badly burnt in the process. His face is scarred for life, and the story tells how instead of being treated as a hero he is treated like a monster.
I also liked His New Mittens which is about a little boy who runs away from home because his mother is angry at him for losing his new mittens. The little boy in the story is sweet and his main reason for running away is to punish his mum for being angry at him!

1 comment:

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