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Maggie, a Girl of the Streets

Stephen Crane

Book Overview: 

Stephen Crane's first novel, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets has been called "the first dark flower of American Naturalism" for its distinctive elements of naturalistic fiction. The chief character, Maggie, descends into prostitution after being led astray by her lover. Rather than focusing on those that make up the very rich or middle class, the novel highlights the deplorable living conditions of the working class during the so-called Gilded Age in New York's Bowery.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .While they got warm at the stove, he told his hearers just where he calculated they stood with the Lord. Many of the sinners were impatient over the pictured depths of their degradation. They were waiting for soup-tickets.

A reader of words of wind-demons might have been able to see the portions of a dialogue pass to and fro between the exhorter and his hearers.

"You are damned," said the preacher. And the reader of sounds might have seen the reply go forth from the ragged people: "Where's our soup?"

Jimmie and a companion sat in a rear seat and commented upon the things that didn't concern them, with all the freedom of English gentlemen. When they grew thirsty and went out their minds confused the speaker with Christ.

Momentarily, Jimmie was sullen with thoughts of a hopeless altitude where grew fruit. His companion said that if he should ever meet God he would ask for a million dollars and a bottle of beer.

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Community Reviews

The novel sets in the Bowery area of New York City, It describes the sordid and almost hopeless existence of Maggie Johnson. As children, she and her brothers are alternately neglected and abused by their drunken parents, and her baby brother Tommie dies as a result of this mistreatment.

Αν και έχω εδώ και κάμποσα χρόνια το "Το κόκκινο σήμα του θάρρους", που είναι με διαφορά το πιο πολυδιαβασμένο έργο του Στίβεν Κρέιν και ένα από τα κλασικότερα Αμερικάνικα μυθιστορήματα, είπα να γνωρίσω τον συγγραφέα με το "Η Μάγκυ των δρόμων", που αγόρασα μόλις χθες. Σίγουρα είναι ένα βιβλίο που...more

A vida de Maggie não é nada boa.  Ela é pobre, mora no pior bairro de Nova York  ,Seus pais são bêbados e se espancam. Tratam ela e  o seu irmão Jimmy como lixos. Ambos tentam, cada um do seu jeito , trazer o sustento para casa mas não adianta nada , gastam o dinheiro com bebidas e Mary ,a “mãe”...more

What men love is sluts. Show a man a poor innocent pretty young girl forced by circumstance or evil into prostitution and he cannot wait to start sighing and what-a-pitying and that-poor-waifing and but-what-was-she-wearinging and it's liable to get pretty maudlin in here by the time she dies. (W...more

Questo suo primo romanzo Stephen Crane lo ha scritto a 20 anni e ci impiegò due giorni e due notti. Presumo a mano. Avrebbe potuto darci qualcosa di più, oltre il secondo romanzo Il segno rosso del coraggio ed alcuni racconti, se non fosse morto a 29 anni.

Storia di strada, quartiere Bowery, che a...more

For as much as I love Crane, I just can't get over the hump on this one and connect the dots to many of his other works I find nearly perfect. It might be the disconnected ending that makes the reader flip back pages to see if we accidentally missed a chapter, the Irish patois of the chronically...more

I read this book on-screen in my down time at work. It's set in late 19th-century New York, from what I gather, which is what attracted me to it, as I'm in the midst of a long documentary on New York. I don't know that I would include the book among my top 10, but I like it very much. The languag...more

This is perhaps the most sordid short novel i ever read;the journey to depravity prostitution and death forced by the loneliness, doublé moral and necesity of a por beautifull girl born in a miserable suburb of New York.The prostitution of the body not of the soul that remains pure and clean to h...more

This book is a treasure, as much for the story of Crane's trying to get it published as for the story itself. I am always drawn to authors' first books. There's often an energy there lost in latter books. The energy and intensity of this story made gave it a momentum that wasn't lost on The Red B...more

This tiny novella, this "shocking portrait" of working class life, might win points for its approach towards capturing the dialect and mileau of the time and place but the overall feeling I took from it was not a call to understand the people that were trodden underfoot by the educated classes bu...more

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