Maggie: A Girl of the Streets

Maggie: A Girl of the Streets

Stephen Crane

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  • EAN: 9788829582075

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Maggie: A Girl of the Streets is an 1893 novella by American author Stephen Crane (1871–1900). The story centers on Maggie, a young girl from the Bowery who is driven to unfortunate circumstances by poverty and solitude. The work was considered risqué by publishers because of its literary realism and strong themes. Crane – who was 22 years old at the time – financed the book's publication himself, although the original 1893 edition was printed under the pseudonym Johnston Smith. After the success of 1895's The Red Badge of Courage, Maggie was reissued in 1896 with considerable changes and re-writing. The story is followed by George's Mother.

The story opens with Jimmie, at this point a young boy, trying by himself to fight a gang of boys from an opposing neighborhood. He is saved by his friend, Pete, and comes home to his sister, Maggie, his toddling brother, Tommie, his brutal and drunken father, and mother, Mary Johnson. The parents terrify the children until they are shuddering in the corner.

Years pass, Tommie and his father die as Jimmie hardens into a sneering, aggressive, cynical youth. He gets a job as a teamster, having no regard for anyone but firetrucks who would run him down. Maggie begins to work in a shirt factory, but her attempts to improve her life are undermined by her mother's drunken rages. Maggie begins to date Jimmie's friend Pete, who has a job as a bartender and seems a very fine fellow, convinced that he will help her escape the life she leads. He takes her to the theater and the museum. One night Jimmie and Mary accuse Maggie of "Goin to deh devil", essentially kicking her out of the tenement, throwing her lot in with Pete. Jimmie goes to Pete's bar and picks a fight with him (even though he himself has ruined other boys' sisters). As the neighbors continue to talk about Maggie, Jimmie and Mary decide to join them in badmouthing her instead of defending her.
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  • Stephen Crane Cover

    (Newark, New Jersey, 1871 - Badenweiler, Germania, 1900) scrittore statunitense. Figlio di un ministro metodista, frequentò per un breve periodo il Lafayette College e l’università di Syracuse; ma trovò una scuola più congeniale nel giornalismo, intrapreso a New York, dove si stabilì. Il suo primo romanzo, Maggie, ragazza di strada (Maggie: a girl of the streets), stampato a sue spese nel 1893 e pubblicato da un editore solo tre anni dopo, gli valse subito il riconoscimento di H. Garland: vi si narra la storia di una ragazza costretta a sfuggire col suicidio alla prostituzione; quest’opera naturalistica come studio d’ambiente - la Bowery - ha, nel taglio e nelle luci, suggestioni pittoriche. Il successivo romanzo di C., Il segno rosso del coraggio (The red badge of courage, 1894) conquistò... Approfondisci
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