Essay on Symbolism in the Stone Angel

684 Words 3 Pages
Margaret Laurence is one of Canada’s most critically acclaimed writers. She wrote short stories, as well as novels. Her best known novel is, without a doubt, The Stone Angel. This novel has many symbolic references, physical items showing emotions. The stone angel, the flowers and the pins are only a sample of the important symbols in the novel.
The first and most important symbol is that of the stone angel. It’s a memorial statue for Hagar’s mother. The statue is a legacy of the Currie family pride and the relationship between Hagar and her father. From the very start of the novel, the angel is a constant reminder of Hagar’s pride and bond with her father. Their relationship was unsteady and in the end non-existent because their
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Hagar is known to have an emotionless personality.
Hagar’s name is reference to the Bible, more specifically, the Old Testament. Hagar shares the same name to an Egyptian hand-maid of the Sarah, Abraham’s wife.
Their name wasn’t the only similarity; they were both “servants”. Biblical Hagar was Sarah’s servant while Hagar Shipley was a maid in her early years. The two Hagar’s also disposed the security they received from their fathers. In this sense, Hagar Shipley was a prisoner of her emotions and is in a constant struggle with them. The plaid pin is yet another example of Hagar’s pride with her family’s background. It also a symbolic reference of her longing to have a good relationship with her children, as well as her father. In another ironic twist, most of Hagar’s relationships are broken and unfixable yet she sees the pin as a sacred item, this shows that she has an affection for man-mad merchandise. Hagar gives the pin to John, her youngest son, as she wants to give her children something precious to her but John isn’t interested in the pin. John ends up trading the pin for a pocket knife, and this deeply hurts Hagar and “mourns” it when she actually in grief over the failed relationship with her father and son. Water is what gives life. In the novel, water is always attempting to give Hagar a chance to develop and grow as a person. Water is mentioned many times but it was when Hagar ran away to Shadow Point and forgot to purchase some was it

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