Because of the conditions Maggie and Pete lived in, Pete treated Maggie in the way he was taught to.
In Stephen Crane's novel, we are led to believe that the ideal man has live up to what the society has developed. In chapter one, the text says, " Down the avenue came boastfully sauntering a lack of sixteen years, although the chronic sneer of an ideal manhood already sat upon his lips"(Crane 1). In this passage we are introduced to the ways in which boys are taught to live to the standards put by society. Men are “boastful” in society as a defense mechanism to not be seen as weak. They use this defense mechanism to “sneer” and ridicule at women who embrace their weakness and attempt to fix it not hide it.