Stone Angel Search for Identity

In: Novels

Submitted By Bspiers
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Hagar’s Search for Identity In the past history has demonstrated that we as human beings have a strong desire to find oneselves identity . This often fuels a search for truth and knowledge in order to better understand oneself, as seen in Margaret Laurence’s novel The Stone Angel. Throughout the novel, Laurence illustrates Hagar Shipley’s, lifelong journey of unscrambling her inner problems, in order to find her true identity. Hagar’s search for identity consists of three main stages throughout the novel, each equally important to her search. She undergoes the “guilt” stage, but it is not until Hagar is nearing the end of her long life that she enters the “wilderness” stage and then finally the “reality” stage. After a lifetime of searching, Hagar Shipley was successful in finding and accepting her true identity. Hagar undergoes the “guilt” stage as both her birth and childhood were marked by tragedy and death. Early in the novel, Hagar reveals that her mother died at her birth as well as retells the events of her older brother Dan’s death. It is important at this point to point out that although there is a sense of tragedy for both their deaths, but the real tragedy is Hagar felt guilty connecting to the deaths. When Hagar’s older brother Matt tells Hagar that their dying brother Dan misses the love of their dead mother, Hagar reflects “Matt was almost apologetic, as though he felt he ought to tell me he didn’t blame me for her dying when in his heart he really did” (24). Whether Matt truly did blame Hagar for his mother’s death or not, Hagar still believes that he does and his statement makes her feel guilty. Matt then requests that Hagar pretend to be their dead mother to comfort Dan, in which Hagar refuses to do. “I was crying, shaken by torments he never even suspected, wanting above all else to do the things he asked but unable to do it” (25) she…...

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