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The Stone Angel

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 03:06 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 75.1 
  • Words: 1720
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Self-Inflicted Isolation and Loneliness




“I never realized until this moment how cut off I am.” (Laurence, 1988, 294) In the novel The Stone Angel, author Margaret Laurence portrays a lonely old woman by the name of Hagar. Over the course of the novel, Hagar reflects back on the memories that have created the story of her life. Hagar is a deeply lonely woman, and much of that loneliness is self-inflicted. This mental isolation is caused by her stubbornness, her pride, and the blindness that she has towards any opinion other than her own.




Hagar Currie-Shipley is a very stubborn woman at the age of ninety. She is very set in her ways, and does not appreciate being told what to do. The reader is introduced to this stubbornness when Hagar is brought to Silverthreads nursing home to view the location. Upon this discovery, Hagar attempts to run away, only to find herself lost in a forest. However, this stubbornness is not a new characteristic of Hagar’s, for she has been this way since early childhood.





I wouldn’t let him see me cry, I was so enraged. He used a foot             ruler, and when I jerked my smarting palms back, he made me hold them out again. He looked at my dry eyes in fury, as though he’d failed unless he drew water from them. He struck and struck, and then all at once he threw the ruler down and put his arms around me… “You take after me,” he said, as though that made everything clear. “You’ve got backbone, I’ll give you that.” (Laurence, 1988, 9-10)




This passage shows Hagar’s ability to hide her true emotions, which is a tool that she uses a lot later on in life. She later talks of making love to her husband, Bram, stating that even when she did enjoy it, “He never knew. I never let him know. I never spoke aloud, and I made certain the trembling was all inner.” (Laurence, 1988, 81) Also, early on in life, when her brother Dan was dying of pneumonia, she could not bring herself to perform...

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