jueves, 23 de octubre de 2008

Assignment 2 (Part B): Student Reactions toward 20th Century US Literature

Dear students of LM-1475 (US Literature Survey Course):

This space is destined for you to write your reaction toward the two novellas you read (Crane's Maggie, a Girl of the Streets and Mc Cullers' s The Ballad of the Sad Cafe).

You must write at least two entries here, both as new comments or as replies to something another strudent has written. Feel free to write whatever is on your mind, but also make sure you provide insightful remarks. You can also posit intriguing questions about the texts. Your comments here must be posted before November 11th.


70 comentarios:

Alex dijo...

Hi this would be the first comment on the novellas yay!
I have just finished reading “The salad, eh… the ballad of the sad cafe” and I want to write sth about it before I forget it jajaja---- I think the story is a clear representation of the 20th Century mood, with positive and negative events.

---BEFORE CONTINUING, THOSE WHO HAVE NOT READ IT YET, DON’T READ THIS THEN!! ----

First, Miss Amelia Evans was raised motherless by her father, and, then, his father died (of course, that’s -). Second, she meets Marvin Macy and married him (that would be + in the first 9 days). Third, things got complicated and dangerous for Miss Amelia (by the way it’s curious that after she got married, she is still called “miss”) and she got divorced (-). Fourth, after that, Marvin went to a penitentiary and Amelia barely spoke or talked to anyone till Lymon shows up. She completely changes, she is happy and blindly (literarily) in love with him. And fifth, Marvin is released from jail and everything changed for Amelia. She lost her café and Lymon, her love and hope (-). This is how the story ends. Amelia’s life has more negative events than positive, and, at the end, she is sad and hopeless as the depiction of the 20th century.

P.D. At the beginning when I read about Lymon, I thought I was reading the hunchback of Notre Dame, but then I realized it was a story about a crossed eye woman and a hunchback jajaja!

PD.2 I have to say that I disliked that the story was too predictable for me at a certain point, and the speaker makes the story longer and longer. We have an idea of what is going to occur (sth bad), but it does not occur till the very last part. In those instances I was fed up with it, and I just wanted to read what happens to Amelia.

That's all hitherto...!!

JC Saravia dijo...

What a nice walkthrough you wrote, Alex. I think the plot is, as you say, rather predictable. However, I'd like to posit a question here: Is the novella presenting emasculation and feminization as the same process? Are they two different ends of the same process? Or are they DIFFERENT processes? To answer, please take a look at the different symbols.

allan dijo...

I believe that by presenting a reversal in the gender roles, McCullers creates characters that are caricatures of people she may have known, which is also the reason why she describes her charactes in an extremely grotesque way as well. By presenting incredibly ludicrous characters, she develops a story that is no longer bound by convention to follow a traditional path, which also allows the story to move in an extremely absurd line. How about that last part with the fist fight and the vandalism? It's ridiculous! There is definitely a moral about co-dependence and the dangers of becoming overly-attached emotionally to others, but it's hard to see it behind all the nonsense.

allan dijo...

Professor,
To answer your question about emasculation and feminization, no, it is not the same process. To emasculate is to take a man's virility (i.e. dignity as a man) away from him, whereas to feminize someone is to assign feminin attributes to a man. I believe Cousin Lymon is a feminized character. But there is also yet another process, that of masculinization, which is quite obvious in the story. I leave it for someone else to develop it, though.

Alex dijo...

Umm… what an intriguing question you posted! I’ll try to answer it!
--Well, Allan already did it!-- I agree with Allan I saw a reversal of gender roles too: Amelia is portrayed with masculine traits, and Lymon has an infatuation with Marvin Macy. From the beginning, Amelia is described with masculine skills (for example, skills in building and in carpentering), and it can also be perceived through her actions (the way in which she sits on the table or handling “wild businesses”). On the other hand, the hunchback possesses feminine characteristics which in part are presented through Amelia’s action. For instance, she gives him shelter, food, and a place where to live which is stereotypically a common male “responsibility.” Moreover, through Lymon’s reactions when he thinks about Marvin Macy (“Oh, Marvin Macy”) and his “reasons” for his infatuation are weak and, to some extend ridiculous, such as “he [Marvin] has been in Atlanta” and “he has been to the penitentiary”. Now about the process of emasculation and feminization, I also agree with Allan, it is not the same. Amelia has some “processes”. For instance, as I said, at the beginning she is a masculine woman, then she meets Lymon and she seems to depict some feminine traits (“she spoiled him [Lymon"]) and she even wears a red dress. Nevertheless, at the end, she changes her dress and wears her old overall. Here, she is more masculine than before because the story mentions “her talent as a boxer”, that she practices boxing with a sand bag, and symbolic words and phrases such as “fists,” “terrifying faces and fierce noises,” “fight,” “wrestling,” “struggle,” “her weight and her height”. Therefore, I would say no, the processes are different
Here was my "answer" (this was going to be my comment for next week but never mind! jajaja) I hope being close to the answer you expected, am I?

Vanessa dijo...

After reading "Maggie, a Girl from the Streets", I felt like depressed. The narrator is constantly describing how rude or tough life could be. The story made me perceive that living is challenging; you always have to fight against the environment,the rest of people, and yourself.
Maggie has to fight against herself and her poverty but also to deal with a mother (if we can call her MOTHER). She does not mean a support to her daughter; she just intensifies her grief.

JoseFab dijo...

I won't forget at all Crane's novella, for all I thought was going to give me a hard time to find was actually too explicit.

Both the patriachal values and the Puritan construct of morality "hopped" in every other page!

What I also feared was not finding what made it the first American Naturalistic novel, but the foul language was easy to identify...haha I bet we all learned the flexibility of the syntactic categories of the use of the word HELL...Plus, the evident dejected nature of the neighborhood, the poor quality of life, and the inner conflicts related to alcoholism and prostitution made it easy to point out the grotesque.

At the beginning, the almost transcriptionlike spellings were a headache, but when I'd read half of it, I think I coped with it.

Marcia dijo...

i haven't finished reading the Ballad of the sad cafe but it is interesting to see how the theories on psychology are protaryed in the novel. it was impressive to see how the explanation of the lover and the beloved match the theories of Erick Fromm. The modernism and the 20 century definetively affected the characters and the characteristics are shown through the develpment of Miss Amelia as a character that has been mistreated by life. She represents the world and how life can be hard sometimes. as i said i havent finished reading the novel; however, the way she growps up in a "nasty" worldcreates a tough person out her portarys how humas become mosnters after being in contact with the worl and the people who live on it

JC Saravia dijo...

Marcia's comment leads us to another poignant question: Is the grotesque something that EXISTS MATERIALLY or is it a PERCEPTION, the imposition of an idea derived from values and culture? That is, do repulsive indivuduals/creatures inhabit the world, or is it that we, out of our own internal ugliness, see them as REPULSIVE? Please consider the similarities in both Crane's and McCuller's novellas.

josefab dijo...

Hey hi again, in "Maggie: A Girl of the Streets" I realized I have these 2 HUGE questions...So, give me a hand with this:

1- After Pete says to Maggie: "Oh, go teh hell," (p. 32) where does she go? To the streets as the title suggests?

As Alex very accurately says: ---BEFORE CONTINUING, THOSE WHO HAVE NOT READ IT YET, DON’T READ THIS THEN!! ----

2-What happens to Maggie afterwards that caused her death?

josefab dijo...

The Ballad of the Sad Café

To add up to Alex's first post, we see from page 4 all what is to come, and that takes away the impact it could have had if not said.

The constant warnings and extra explicit clues of the narrator let one know everything, and that is something I didn't enjoy much either. However, the title of the novellete says "ballad" so I don't know if all ballads are told with those forecastings. Any ideas?

Also, when Alex says:
"Moreover, through Lymon’s reactions when he thinks about Marvin Macy ('Oh, Marvin Macy') and his 'reasons' for his infatuation are weak and, to some extend ridiculous, such as 'he [Marvin] has been in Atlanta' and 'he has been to the penitentiary'"
I think that Lymon wasn't ever in love with Amelia because he was Macy's revenge. They plotted against her, and they acomplished it. So, love was never there just opportunism and deception.

Trying to answer the question of the grotesque posted by the professor, I think that the grotesque is something that is a matter of inner perception rather than a collective one. And I can see this in both novellas:

1- In Maggie a Girl of the Streets, Maggie's mother regards her daughter as the worst punishment she could have ever gotten and as the worthless person in the world. This mother's grotesque view of Maggie shows Maggie as the most ungrateful daughter ever, and that is something I totally disagree with. Maggie was, on the contrary, the only one in the family that wasn't one more of those mind-perturbed people. So in here, I see that the grotesque can be regarded as something personal because I wouldn't claim that Maggie is anything her mother claims her to be.

2-In The Ballad of the Sad Café, we have the same story. Amelia's perception of Lymon is not the same as the rest of the town's view when they saw the "hunchback." Immediately, there was a commotion on that, but even though the villagers never understood Amelia's acceptance of Lymon, they still regard him as a freak.

Paola dijo...

My comment is on the “Ballad of the Sad Café” and is related to the issues of change and love. Since the beginning of the story the idea of routine is represented by Amelia’s life and behavior because every single day she does the same. Then, when the hunchback appears is interesting to notice how a person can change another person almost in an instance. Also, this idea of change is also seen in Marvin’s character when he falls in love because he learns many things in order to impress her. The third weird change is when the Cousin Lymon falls in love to Marvin. It is amazing to see how the author can manifest universal topics, such as love and change in a very original way. I would say that this story truly shows one important characteristic of the 20th Century that is the topic of change in peoples’ life.

Alex dijo...

Hi I just want to summarize in this way what the professor said about the "love" mess with characters of “the ballad of…”
A masculine female character (Miss Amelia) falls in love with a feminine male character (Lymon, the hunchback) and this falls in love with a masculine male character (Marvin Macy)

P.D. Fabian you are right, I also think that it was a complete plot against Amelia. I have a theory about that. Taking into account that the story of Amelia’s half sister is not too way believable and even the picture of Amelia’s mother when she was a CHILD! is blur, I think that Lymon and Marvin met in the penitentiary and planned the whole mean revenge. Marvin convinced Lymon to do it because he promised him a place where to live, food and Amelia’s company. Then, Lymon only had to say he was her cousin to gain her trust because, if we remember, she had any relative, none. Later, when Marvin is released, Lymon pretends not to know him, helps him to take revenge and, then, he escapes with him...

Marcia dijo...

hey sorry about the spelling mistakes.... the dyslexia is killing me

Nuria dijo...

HELLO!!!! Ok so here is my opinion of Fabian's question:

After Pete says to Maggie: "Oh, go teh hell," (p. 32) where does she go? To the streets as the title suggests?

For me, I believe that she goes to the streets. It says in the text that when she leaves the place she starts walking up and down and then she ends up in a neighborhood where she sees the man in the coat that rans away from her. I believe she stays in the streets until she is dies. She has no place to go and no one to ask for help so her only option was to try to survive in the streets because she did not had any money either.

Now, I have to agree with Vannesa's comment. Maggie's mother is exactly the opossite from what we expect mothers to be. She is trying to make her own child to live a "dog's life" and she even kicks her out of the house because she was a "big disgrace" for her. COMMON! SHE IS AN ALCOHOLIC THAT CANNOT STAND SOBER FOR ONE NIGHT!!!! I believe that Maggie is too good for that type of mother. Also, the problem is the enviroment in which she lives... Es puñalada por bollo de pan, everyone has to fight to survive in that place so there is nothing else that she could do but to fight.
So that's it for now... good morning, good evening and good night jijijijiji

Marcia dijo...

hi people... regarding the relationship of Marvin , Cousin Lymon and Miss Amelia a have a theory and would like to see what you think of it. Miss Amelia married Marvin not only to fullfill the requisites of a woman in her days, but also because she was ambicious and she wanted to have more so marrying him represented for her a way to have more belongings. Marvin was not in love with Miss amelia, he was obssesed with her because she was the only one who was not in love with him so he get a fixation with her and that was his way to have her. so thanks to the situation arround them both were able to acomplish their goal. in the case of Cousin Lymon i have to say thatI DO NOT see anything that sugguests homosexuality there. it is more a parasite relationship. in Parasite relationships the parasite takes advantage of the host. Cousin Limon saw Miss Amelia as his way to survive and he took advantage of the protective instint to live under her expenses. With Marvin, cousin Lymon saw in Marvin that man that he was never going to be, therefore, he decides to follow him and to do everything Marvin asks for to be accepted. so Lymon Cousin lives like a parasite at the expenses of Marvin and Miss Amelia. that is my theory feel free to destrtoy it...

josefab dijo...

Hahaha Marcia...ok, I'll try to "destroy" it.

My thesis statement is: Amelia did see Marvin as a goal, but Marvin didn't.

Arguments:

1-Amelia definitely "crossed out" Marvin as a grocery item in a list when married him, for she "hurried out of the church, not taking the arm of her husband, but walking at least two paces ahead of him," (p. 30)showing complete indifference and no desire toward Marvin.

2-However, Marvin MIGHT COULD HAVE BEEN ABLE to see Amelia as a goal. HOWEVER, why do you think this is said: "Marvin Macy came down that day still in his wedding finery, and with a sick face"? (p. 31)In the first place, let's talk about the wedding finery. Why should a man who is eager to divorce sleeps with his wedding clothes? That means that he feels an attachment toward that moment at church when he married the one he loves, but not seemingly corresponded. And then we have the "sick face." I think that if Amelia had also been a grocery item the narrator would have said that Marvin came down with a face that showed more satisfaction and fulfillment than all men's happiness together, or something like it, I imagine. BUT, it doesn't happen that way, and Marvin shows sadness, disconformity, and a betrayed, humane side of him.

So, I think that is enough proof to "destroy," as Marcia says, that theory, but I agree with Amelia's analysis, though.

Raquel dijo...

Answering the question posted by the professor about the grotesque, I believe it is more a perception that arises from the social values we uphold. Just as the puritans in the 19th century saw the different and strange as evil-rooted and demoniac (Salem was an example), in the 20th Century what is far from what we consider “normal” becomes grotesque and therefore unacceptable, or at least criticized. Now, let’s see this in terms of the two novellas assigned:

1.Crane’s Maggie: A Girl of the Street
We have here a beautiful young girl whose life had been far from comfortable and happy. She lived a life of mistreatment, poverty, and loneliness (all the odds against). She decided to look beyond that environment she lived in. She found someone, the wrong person though, who would be her company and her way out. As it was customary for the time, women were supposed to be at home…no matter what, and leave it just when they got married with a respectful and wealthy man (in most of the cases). However, Maggie left her house without being married; therefore, her mother and brother rejected (even though he had done the same to another girl). Consequently after Pete abandoned, and the rest of the people turn their back to this girl, she had no other option than to vague on the streets looking for some love and a possibility to survive. She wasn’t a repulsive individual; on the contrary, the repulsive would be the behavior her family adopted towards her.
The weird and bizarre is also exemplified more clearly by the mother and father Johnson. A careless, drunk, and abusive mother and wife and an alcoholic father who lacked authority as a man and as a father who engaged in fights with each other or with the kids every night until they fell asleep in the living room after causing a mess and calling the attention of all the neighbors. Again, they might have been misfortune individuals, but they were criticized by everyone around because of their abnormal behaviors.


2.McCullers’ The Ballad of the Sad Café
The narrator describes Miss Amelia’s and Cousin Lymon’s appearance, as well as the one of other characters, with, guess what, a hint of repulsiveness. Now, when ascribing directly to the reader adjectives such adjectives as lanky, slow, crooked or queer don’t only denote the idea of something different from the ordinary, but also something that may be stranger and weirder that usual, that is, something grotesque. Maybe, it is our internal ugliness what makes us ascribe something as ugly or beautiful, but are we that beautiful anyway?

Raquel dijo...

About Fab's and March's Love Theory jeje...

I do agree on the fact that probably Miss Amelia saw Marvin Macy as a "grocery item". However, about Macy's feelings I agree with Fab because if he wasn't in loved with Miss Amelia, which would have been the whole purpose of his attitude change???

Now, after reading the whole novella, I do see the debate over the homosexual behavior of Cousin Lymon because... Why is it that you defend so eagerly a person you barely know to escape later with him???

Ely Alberto!!! dijo...

“The Ballad of the Sad Cafe” is ostensibly a thwarted love novel that portrays desires and magnetism in the love triangle of Miss Amelia, Cousin Lymon, and Marvin Macy. All the three characters are amazingly described with the peculiarity of not being appealing to the reader. In the novel, love is a powerful and rewarding force that is able to change feelings and behaviors on people. The novel deals with the issue of what love can do, how some people perceives love and how it can influence the way they view their lives. Feelings of attraction are ambiguous in the novel since relationships are grotesque. Miss Amelia is described as a masculine woman, not the appropriate couple for a handsome guy as Marvin, and Cousin Lymon, who seems to be a dwarf, a relative of Miss Amelia whose feelings of admiration toward Macy are more likely to be romantic longings and feelings of attraction. The novel portrays the illogical nature of love. In fact, most people would enjoy this novel because most of the people at certain point in their lives have experienced what love can provoke. Any person can be the object of love which will make you act irrationally any day.

Michael dijo...

In regards to "The Ballad of the Sad Café", I have to say that I don’t completely agree with the concepts of masculinity and femininity the narrator tries to get the reader to: consciously or unconsciously the novella makes a distinction between sex and gender: that someone can be a man whose gender is female or a woman whose gender is male, which is plausible as traditionally we’ve been thought not to consider gender that way. Now, let’s say up to here it’s all right. Then I thought "Gee, why is it that it confuses people this much to the point of saying Cousin Lymon was gay?" Then, again, we need to stop and make another clarification here: more recently gender is being associated with the issue of sexual orientation and identity, but these are not necessarily related to the first concept of gender the novella suggests.
I just wanted to point out these two aspects because, otherwise, the overall theme of love may be distorted.

Jeremy dijo...

I agree with Alex and Fabian’s theory of the plot against Amelia. Actually, we have to remember that when Lymon and Marvin met on page 47: “it was a peculiar stare they exchanged between them, like the look of two criminals who recognize each other”. They met previously and faked not knowing each other before, Lymon’s love for Amelia, and his obsession with Marvin. In the latter case, Lymon did not show any love towards Amelia, it was just the parasite relationship Marcia talks about. However, Lymon’s role is not that one of the “lady in distress” (taking into account the inversion of stereotypical gender roles) that needs someone to rescue him. He involves with her intentionally for Marvin’s revenge in which Lymon would enjoy take advantage from her steal some of her possessions as they did in the end of the story. One may think he was an ill and weak person.

Another issue, I agree with Marcia’s comment about Lymon taking advantage of Amelia’s protective instinct. In fact, she treated him as her own child; she was spoiling him in many aspects; for instance, when she took him to any sort of spectacles even when he was “obsessed” with Marvin. He actually did not need of her at all because he was not weak. How can one explain then that he had jumped twelve feet and attacked Amelia before she defeated Marvin? He was just faking!

Alex dijo...
Este comentario ha sido eliminado por el autor.
Alex dijo...

Hi I also wanna join to the club “destroying Marcia’s theory” jajajaja no I just want to refute the part in which Marcia says -----“Marvin was not in love with Amelia”----- Wasn’t he!!!!??????? I think he was absolutely in love. Here is my support:

On page 28, the omniscient narrator says “Nor did he want her because of her money. But solely out of love” then, the next paragraph begins saying “And love changed Marvin Macy. Before the time when he loved Miss Amelia…” (28)

One more example “But love reversed the character of Marvin Macy. For two years he loved Miss Amelia…he reformed himself completely” (29). Moreover, he “signed over to her the whole of his WORLDLY GOODS, which was TEN ACRES of timberland which he had bought with money he has saved” (32) I mean this a clear example of Marvin’s love to Amelia. When we are in love, we do generous and stupid acts, and this is both! I said it is stupid because he didn’t see her ambitiousness and her only interest in money (and he didn’t because he was blindly in love with her!)

Regarding that the hunchback took advantage of Amelia’s hospitality and her scarce motherly traits, I don’t contradict that...

josefab dijo...

I have another commment now on The Ballad of the Sad Café that would give a turn to all commments:

A feature of literature in 20th century is the narrators being apprised, for they were in some cases UNRELIABLE.

Is it that the narrator in this novella is unreliable? And if it is, then we would have to provide new evidence for all arguments...

luis m. dijo...

Well, I don't agree with the theory of the plot of Marvin and Lymon against Miss Amelia.

Actually, yes, they were united to destroy Miss Amelia, but that was because Lymon was so obsessed with Marvin that he was willing to do everything Macy wanted. As I understood, Marvin was everything Lymon was not, say tall, handsome, masculine, strong, self-confident, fearless, and even a bad guy. As a matter of fact, Marvin became the idol and the fixation of the dwarf is such a way that Lymon stupidly betrayed Miss Amelia just because Macy had some issues with her. In my opinion, while Miss Amelia and Marvin represent the "change" to good that some could face for love, Lymon reflects the madness that an obsession produces, which, in fact, at the end is stronger.

luis m. dijo...

I will try to answer Fabian's question "2-What happens to Maggie afterwards that caused her death?"

In my opinion, Maggie was so disappointed with life, for she got from heaven to hell in a couple of days, that she started to divagate in the streets without taking care of his health, and she consequently died from a pulmonary disease (pneumonia?) or something like that.

My first support is the beginning of chapter 17 in which the narrator says that it was raining heavily (the storm-swept pavements) and that it was cool (the drivers of the cabs were using coats), but most important, the narrator mentions some WET WANDERERS in a park who I associate with Maggie because the last we know about her is that she was actually wandering an the street. If anybody stays on the streets wet when it is cold obviously he or she will get sick.

My second support is the way the man, who says that Mag was dead, say it. He simply goes to the house of Maggie's """mother""" and says "Well, Mag's dead". That simplicity in such an unfortunate moment says to me that they were actually waiting for that. So, what I see is Maggie agonizing from a pulmonary disease from a long, LONG period of time until her death.

So, that's what I think...

Marcia dijo...

regardig the theory of Marvin Macy loving Miss Amelia... again love and obssesion behave similarly... the lover does whatever it takes to have the attention of the beloved and the obssesed person behaves in the same way so i think that due to his surreder to her he was obssesed with her as a price and that is why he gave her everything he had...
keep on coming out with theories cuz this is getting hot... jaja

Alex dijo...

As he professor and some of you have stated, Maggie is a product of her dark environment of violence and social degradation. She was a flower in a chaotic wilderness surrounded by vegetarian animals. She wanted to escape from that, that’s why she went with Pete. However, her fate was already doomed by the inevitable forces of her surroundings. Her parents and brother were alcoholic, violent, hypocrite, and emotionally instable, and they hit and curse each other. Outside the tenement was not different; alcohol, fights, stealing, prostitution, shallow people, etc. Therefore, the white flower was tainted by the environment and finally shriveled up. --To some extend, the law of the jungle, everyone has to fight to survive and no one cares about the others--

Now, I have a question for you, do you think that the character of “the old woman” was important or not? I know she offered shelter to Jimmie and Maggie, but what about if we “remove” this old woman from the novella, do you think this would accelerate the process of degradation of Jimmie and Maggie or it would be the same? If it would be the same, what is the purpose of this character then?

rosaura dijo...

About the Ballad of the Sad Café, I would say it shows in a very not traditional way the relativity of love. Love is a feeling that does not stick to a fixed pattern: […] the beloved can also be of any description. The most outlandish people can be stimulus for love (p.26) that’s what happened to Macy and Amelia. They chose what love meant for them.
Also, as some of you have said, love has the capacity to transform people for better, but also can destroy them. We saw these two cases in the novella; the change in Amelia with the arrival of Lymon, and her withdrawal when he left.

Then, I definitely agree with Marcia’s theory of Amelia’s marriage; either she wanted to prove the town that she could marry not any guy but Marvin Macy, or it was for self interest. The second reason sounds more reasonable to me since we know Amelia didn’t get along with people. I see this when the narrator says: “Only few times in her life had Miss Amelia invited anyone to eat with her, unless she were planning to trick them in some way, or make money out of them” (p.11), and besides, she loved to make money so…

Considering another element, the setting is definitely parallel to Amelia’s personality. The very first page, tells about a dreary, lonesome and sad town just as Amelia felt when Lymon ran away with Macy. It is a place “far off and estranged from all other places in the world. The nearest stop is Society City [..]” (p.3). Amelia is a lonely person, and she is also very different from any other woman. “Her house is boarded up completely and leans so far to the right that it seems bound to collapse at any minute”(p3). “[…] the painting was left unfinished and one portion of the house is darker and dingier than the other” (p.3). After Lymon’s betrayal, Amelia withdrew herself from everything: her café and her patients; she was never the same. The part that was actually painted on the right side of the house represents Lymon’s presence in Amelia’s life; therefore, it is the part that is about to collapse, or let’s say that destroyed her.

…Are there any hints in the novella that question the credibility of the narrator???

rosaura dijo...

upss! Ignore the thing about the reason more reasonable!!! jaja se me fue!

Vanessa dijo...

For me, "The Ballad of the Sad Café" plays with two concepts of beauty. One is the beauty expressed through out the physical appearance and the other one is showed through out the attractiveness of the soul. The description of Miss Amelia makes me remember that in the case of animals the males are considered to be more beautiful than the females. Nevertheless, presently women tend to adorn themselves or to look more attractive than men; for this reason, men have become women the paradigm of beauty. Physically, Miss Amelia could represent male beauty. She j does not followed the typical perception of female beauty. In this case, her attractiveness goes beyond the material state. She is beautiful in the way she treats the rest of people; she seems to provide to the rest something that makes them to feel happy. On the other hand, we know that even though Marvin Macy is handsome or beautiful; his soul is as dark as his intentions but he falls in love with Amelia, and he changes. Why? Maybe because he discovers the beauty of the soul, and he learn to estimate/love himself. Physical attractiveness of a beloved is important but it cannot fulfill the internal desires, needs or hopes. In this way, Marvin can learn not just to judge a woman due to her external appearance but also he learns to recognize the significance of the soul/spirit of a woman in himself.

Karla Mariana dijo...

I think that the grotesque is something about perception. Human just understands what he/she is accustomed to see or perceive with the senses. Therefore, when something or someone is different people consider that as absurd or ugly. This might be the reason why I think that “The Ballad of the Sad Café” is completely grotesque. Not only the characters are odd, but also the story is absurd. For me, a love triangle between a giant cross eyed woman, a very handsome man, and a hunchback is not attractive. Moreover, Alex is right when he says that the speaker makes the story longer and longer. For me, this extension plus the peculiarity of the account make the novel tedious.

Michael dijo...

Aleks', mi tujtuj respondas! I believe that apart from Maggie’s family and Pete, the rest of the characters serve just as foils, which would’ve been given much more traits in longer works such as novels. Like you wrote, Maggie was already doomed and nobody could've possibly prevented her from that.
I really don't think this woman is "important" as to Maggie's misfortune, but I do see in her Crane's not-so-homogeneous perspective of U.S. life: all the settings he himself might've been part of wherein there sure lived people like this "old woman", contrasting the poor, the drunken, the desperate, the profane, the corrupted..and all that you mentioned.

Roxana dijo...

Definitety The Ballad of the Sad Café has many of the features that potray the XXth Century, for example, isolation, lack of hope, sadness. Amelia got married with Marvin to fulfill a physical desire. Marvin fell in love with Amelia because he thinks in the future stability. However, Amelia didn´t like that life, both were strong. Then, come into sight the hunchback, she can protect him due to his physical appearance. Indeed, the hunchback took advantage of her feeling. She also gave him the acorn that her father had given to her meaning, maybe protection (I will always be with you), childhood (you will be my little girl) or adulthood (pretty soon you will be a woman). The physical characteristics of the main characters were different from what readers are used to. I couldn´t find other reason but "interest".

allan dijo...

I just realized I hadn't made a comment on Maggie. Well as Alex and Mike already mentioned, there's no way Maggie could escape her environment, but that was the whole point of the novel. The whole point of Naturalism, actually, which is, as an artistic philosophically, wholly pessimistic. But that's the thing isn't it? If Maggie would have had a way out, if Pete or her family would have been there for her, the entire novella would have been a completely different story. Maggie was doomed from the beginning by Stephen Crane's artistic sensitivity.

Alex dijo...

Ha ha ha Dankon Mikol pro via respondo, mi skribis la demandon pro skribi kromajxon (mi pensis gxi estis malmulta komento), tamen dankon ree! Plu..

I know the "old woman" is a foil character, but I asked that because I think that the "old woman" contributed to create a "pause" in crucial moments. For instance, when Jimmie was a child and their parents were fighting, he went to the old woman to have some kind of support he would never receive from his parents. Similarly, when Maggie was rejected and humiliated by her mother, she went to the old woman who offered her comfort. I didn’t mean that this woman would prevent Maggie from her inevitable fate, what I meant was that if the old woman wouldn’t have been there for them, the process of degradation would have been a little faster, well that’s what I think....

angie dijo...

Hi! My comment is about the ballad of the sad café. I would like to answer what the professor asked: “Is the grotesque something that EXISTS MATERIALLY or is it a PERCEPTION, the imposition of an idea derived from values and culture?” (yes, I quoted him) I am pretty sure that it is a mere perception. Depending on how an individual is raised or how his or her circumstances are, the person will consider grotesque some aspects in life that probably someone else will see as normal. Personally, (and interestingly I would say for I am sure that not many people will agree with this) the most grotesque aspects in this novel is the evilness of the people surrounding Miss Amelia. It caught my attention when Amelia’s neighbors thought that she killed the hunchback and they were “making a holiday of this fancied crime…” Moreover, when Amelia’s marriage ended, “the town felt the special satisfaction that people feel when someone has been thoroughly done in by some scandalous and terrible means.”
My first impression was: how can people enjoy this? This was so grotesque! However, this happens all the time in our reality. Experience has showed me that there are many people who do not enjoy your suffering, but they enjoy talking to others about it. Therefore, all this was to defend my point. Probably this is grotesque for me because I hate my neighbors for the same reasons I hate Amelia’s. Despair and suffering which are themes that belong to modernism, are portrayed in this novel, and the worst part is that people tend to like it when it does not happen to them. Again, this is a pessimistic point of view also implied in this novel.

Herick dijo...

Stephen Crane's Maggie is an incredible depiction of life. I was reading the novel thinking that Maggie had an opportunity to leave town, to marry, etc. However, Crane’s style made me think twice. The tone throughout the text is so sincere and honest that when I was reading it I thought: “What is wrong with the novel?” “It is the same old story!” Of Course! It was written a century ago… It was not typical that someone wrote about how cruel reality is. Nowadays, Maggie’s story is many people’s story. I agree with Allan, Alex, and Mike that Maggie was unable to change her situation, but I honestly believed that she was going to achieve her goals. I guess I’m not a pessimist. As was said in class, the place you live in determines the person you are going to become and we know that was exactly what happened to Maggie. She was doomed from the start and her luck did not change at the end. Moreover, Crane managed to destroy gradually Maggie throughout the novel by putting even bigger “obstacles” every time she had the chance to change or to improve her life. It is clear that Maggie did not belong to the environment she was living in. If I were Maggie, I probably would say to my “mother” “Go teh hell!” because she contributed to destroy myself. I’m certain that Maggie could do what she wanted if her family would give her support. At the end of the novel, we find out that Maggie is dead. Does anybody think that she committed suicide? ‘Cause I think that is what happened. When someone is alone (dazed & confused), rejected by family and society, and depressed, there is a good chance this person is going to commit suicide…

I wish the novel was written by Walt Disney (for Maggie’s sake)…

Paola dijo...

I would like to mention the issue of irony in the Crane’s novel Maggie, a Girl of the Streets. I found Maggie’s mother ironic because as we know Mary, mother of Jesus, is generally seen as a name for a good person. However, in this novel, we can see totally the opposite, a mother who is not worried about her children. I am not generalizing because I know that this does not apply in all the cases; nevertheless, it is interesting to see that the author chose that name for the mother of this story. Also, the end of the story, when Mary says, “Oh,yes, I’ll fergive her!I’ll fergive her! is ironic too because for me, Mary, who was not a good mother for Maggie, is the one who has to beg for pardon.

David Boza M. dijo...

“The ballad of the sad café” wasn`t that interesting to me. In fact, I consider it was somewhat boring, perhaps, because of the way the actions are developed, they are to slow. However, from my perspective, the book gets in to some themes and ideas which are quite interesting. For instance, something that really caught my attention was this sort of Oedipus complex that Miss Amelia has. What is going on with this fixation she has with her father´s room and bed? When coursing Lymon arrives to her home she puts him in that room. It seems that this room has a significant value to her for not sleeping in it although it was the larger one; moreover, she puts her beloved in it (the hunchback). Furthermore, Regarding the discussion we had in class about whether or not cousin Lymon was in love with Marvin Macy, I consider that the hunchback was really in love with him and the reason for that is that when Lymon first met him and Marvin made fun of him, he didn’t complain. He just stayed quite. This is the behavior of someone who has a crush or is in love with some one (not paying attention for the “RATADAS” that the beloved does to him/her). Another man would have said something or at least he would have develop hatred when someone treats him bad.
Bye.

Nuria dijo...

Hi ladies and gentlemen! So, regarding the Ballad of the Sad Cafe, I believe that (as others have commented about the grotesque question) the story portryas not only different roles of man and woman in the story, but also characteristics of the 20th Century in each character. The grotesque may be something that we can persive (answering the professor's question)but the characters represent alot of characteristics too. Hope is completely lost (o sea Amelia marries Lymon it could not be less romantic) the grotesque is everywhere from the description of the characters to the fact that Amelia is like the Female Dr of the place, the "Padrino" de todo mundo.
Now, I have a question:
We were discussing in class the fact that opposited attract right, so that may be the reason why Amelia falls in love with Lymon, but is that is true, why Marvin falls in love with Amelia, if he is just like her (in social roles you know, muy masculina)? isn't that kind of... weird?

Marcia dijo...

regarding maggie.... Maggie... is a sad story, but as i have always thought it is very naive to think that you will be able to survive such environment as the one she lived in with no side effects. there are a FEW (poquisisimos)cases where people are able to deal with that kind of life and get out of it. Maggie was doomed since the very begging to be who she was.

Raquel dijo...

I agree with you March. It is hard to thing that when living in such a environment, as the one Maggie lived at, you would be able to become a better person. I kind of support the idea of the Social Determinism, because no matter how hard Maggie would have tried to become something different, she would have carried with that past and the memory of her "dysfunctional" family in one way or another.

Yulieth dijo...

Hey people... While reading "The Ballad of the Sad Cafe" I felt this incredible impulse to take a look to the foreign elements in the story and their relationship with the story as an overall. The view of the "other" as the strange and grotesque, as the mechanism of defining one´s identity drive to the question: Are we really what we think we are? Is the whole conception of what is right the only reading we can make? Mss Amelia does not fit in the traditional concept of woman and to reinforce her "strangeness" the person she fells in love with does not match with the traditional concept of "man". The symbolic meaning of a train station in a place called "Society City" provides the idea of movement towards what is known as "civilized or socialy accepted". So, the negation of the "one uniqueness" should be left to start with the journey in society.
Moreover, the enter of a foreigner chages the history of the town and, at the same time, the exit of one who "does not belong to the town", Marvin Macy, altered that place.
What I`m suggesting is that the dicotomy between what is considered as a "normal" is being questioned in this 20th Century story, in which one is forced to ask if this feeling of not "moving along with the flow" is the normal stage of life or if we should question what has being imposted.

Silvia A. dijo...

Warning: the following comment does not attempt to be disrespectful toward anyone’s religious values; nevertheless, it does present a direct Christian position of an issue discussed in The Ballad of the Sad Café.

Hi, everyone! I want to draw your attention to a specific passage of the The Ballad of the Sad Café that deals with the value of life. Let’s find page 55:

There is a deeper reason why the café was so precious to this town. And this deeper reason has to do with a certain pride that had not hitherto been known in these parts. To undestand this new pride the cheapness of human life must be kept in mind.(...) Life could become one long dim scramble just to get the things needed to keep alive. And the confusing point is this: All useful things have a price, and are bought with money, as that is the way the world is run. (...) But no value has been put on human life; it is given to us free and taken without being paid for. What is the worth? If you look around, at times the value may seem to be little or nothing at all. Often after you have sweated and tried and things are no better for you, there comes a feeling deep down in the soul that you are not worth much.

Please, take a close look at this passage. I find it incredibly depressing, as it exemplifies what the professor meant when he talked about society’s attempt of “banishing God." As most of you know, I do believe in the Christian God (the only God I believe to be true), so I just want to show you the direct contradiction found between the ideas in this passage and those of the Bible (which I am convinced contains God’s message of redemption for humanity). If you have decided not to continue reading because I’m starting to sound religious, consider it twice, this might enrich your understanding of Christianity and the traditional religious values in the U.S.

Let’s begin our discussion with the “cheapness of human life.” According to the narrator people “are not worth much,” which opposes completely to God’s Word, the Bible. Just to exemplify my point take a look at Paul’s words in the book of I Peter 1:18-21 (NIV):

18For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, 19but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

In other words, according to the Bible, Christ himself gave his blood to pay the price of the sins of every person on earth. Thus, humans are not worthless. On the contrary! They are worth the highest price of all: the value of the blood of an innocent man who was sent and willingly accepted to give himself for humanity, which to a large extent decided to take God out of the picture. Let me explain this to you a little further, I am sure you have all have heard about this before, but I would like to develop its background:
1. The Bible says everyone is a sinner (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?book_id=52&chapter=3&verse=22&end_verse=24&version=31&context=context)
2. It also states that the wages of sin are death (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans%206:23;&version=31).
3. Then, it narrates how God sent his Son, Jesus, to come and pay the debt of humanity (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=romans%205:6-11;&version=31), 4. and that whoever believes that Christ died and rose again from the dead and confesses with his/her mouth that Jesus is Lord, will be saved (http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romanos%2010:8-10;&version=31).

Do you now see what it means to “be bought by blood”? It means that the lives of those who accept Jesus’ invitation to pay their debt will be worth a great deal, and will, indeed, be paid for in heaven, unlike the narrator’s premise in this novella that “no value has been put on human life; it is given to us free and taken without being paid for.” I hope I was clear enough with my arguments. Please, feel free to ask any question and give your opinion about this. And remember that, after all, the 20th Century was a “time of waste and confusion” (p.52). Thanks for reading. See you later.

Daniel dijo...

I think that "Maggie, a Girl from the Streets" is a very realistic (and some times naturalistic) story. For example, if we apply this novel to Costa Rica’s context, we will realize that we are living exactly the same story, especially if we think about places like, Los Guido de Desamparados where people only know one reality that is poverty. Therefore, they always have to live under the same conditions. They only know what they are allowed to have, so if someone tries to be different they do not know how to do it. "Maggie, a Girl from the Streets" is a very good example of how people are accustom to one (one environment) reality, so if they find something different out side they don’t know how to react. Thus, these people only have the chance to accept what they have and continue living as Vanessa said fighting against the environment with the only possibility to go to a nightmare that never ends. Also, "Maggie, a Girl from the Streets" is a novel that shows how apathy is part of the way of view of the 20th century since as we just think about ourselves, and we don’t care about others. Hence, “Maggie, a Girl from the Streets" is not just a good example for the 20th century ideology, but also an example of Costa Ricans reality.

Silvia A. dijo...

Hi!Regarding "Maggie, a Girl from the Streets," I want to point out an interesting characterization technique which is the description of the actions of characters that we already know without explicitly stating their name. For example, in the last chapter, we know that “ the woman” is Maggie’s mother, Mary, because a woman dressed in black comes in saying “Ah, poor Mary,” and we realize that “the unshaven man” is Jimmie because Mary tells him “ Go git yer sister, Jimmie;” otherwise, we would have had to guess who these people are. What do you think is the purpose of this? My first impression was that the narrator wanted to keep the readers’ attention by making us think a new important character was being introduced; however, on a second thought, I believe this is done to construct rounder characters, that is, to portray more plausible human beings that are not always consistent but change and react according to circumstances. If we are told who is talking or walking, we know what to expect from that character and often we pay little attention to the details. From another perspective, eliminating proper names also makes us reflect on the construction of our own identity, and how in our modern world many people feel insignificant, just one more in a million Mary’s.

Daniel dijo...

For me “The ballad of the Sad Cafe” is a story about the internal ugliness of a society and the power that people want to achieve in order to be happy. First, why do we think that Amelia is so uncommon? In fact, for me her appearance represents the power that people in the 20th century were looking for (since she was muscular and big, a signal o a powerful person). Moreover, I think that the relationships that are presented in this novel are a representation of ambition and also the power mention before. For example, when I think about Amelia and Marvin Macy’s relationship I think about a relationship based on power. I am saying this because if you realize Marvin Macy was the handsome guy that every girl in that town wanted, so if Amelia married him nobody else could have him. What I am saying is that for Amelia Marvin Macy was just a prize that she wanted in order to establish her power in the town. On the other hand, the same aspect is shown in Amelia’s relation with Lymon. Even though he does not love her, he was with her because he was obtaining something that he never had before (we need to remember that Amelia ruled the town). Therefore, the power that they obtained being with their couples was the power and recognition that they were looking for. Moreover, these action represents also the ugliness contained in humans’ soul (represented in Amelia’s and Lymon’s physical appearance) since they did not care about others feelings they jus care about what they could get. This is shows the way of thinking of many people in this era. Hence, this is my interpretation about the “Ballad of the Sad Cafe”. However, if you think that what I saw is not correct please let me know.

Daniel dijo...
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Karla Mariana dijo...

I would like to talk about some similarities between “The Ballad of the Sad Café” and “Maggie, a Girl from the Streets” regarding the description of the 20th Century. First, people in both stories see terrible acts of violence with indifference, which suggests they are accustomed to them. Both stories describe awful fights such as the one between Jimmie and Devil´s Row children, and the fight between Miss Amelia and Marvin Macy. However, the audiences of these fights don’t do anything to stop them. Then, these novels use the weather in order to describe the ugly environment in which they take place. The autumn, for example, is important because it represents desolated places fill of despair. Actually, dust is a relevant element of this season used several times in both stories to depict a gloomy environment.

Herick dijo...

As many have sad “The Ballad of the Sad Café” is a complete mess! How come Marvin loves Amelia and she does not love him back?! But that is no all; Amelia is in love with Cousin Lymon?! A hunchback!? Really! While Cousin Lymon is falling for Marvin?! What is this? Is it some kind of Mexican soap opera? No. It is a depiction of life. When A loves B, 99.9% of the times, B is also in love with C, To make things worse, C loves Z. I guess I read the story in a romantic point of view because I saw how the characters changed for good when they were in love; of course I noticed their physical traits, but I did not take that as a major problem. I think love is what allowed them to see beyond the way they look or act. That is the reason why I think the major theme is love. However, as we all noticed, this is a tragedy. No one achieved what they wanted. And yes! This is a quite predictable novella. Nevertheless, what is stranger is that the same “love triangle” happens in real life and it has the same effect: No one wins. Well, more losses than winnings…

David Boza M. dijo...

“Maggie, A Girl from the Streets” is a novella that is really different from all the things we’ve read in the class and I consider its ideas oppose other works and genres we’ve studied. For instance, this piece is completely opposite to Romanism (of course since it is realism!); it presents a reality that is awfully cruel and that shouts to your face “there’s no future and there’s nothing beyond this putrid place.” Moreover, Crane’s work contradicts puritans beliefs by omitting God completely, and one may thing that in such a horrible and sick environment there has to be some sort of reference to it (God), but thank God that there is not such a thing (other wise it would be a “pandereta” novella). Furthermore, I wonder what a puritan would say after reading so many times “the devil” and “hell.” But what really caught my attention was the end of the story. To read that Jimmie comes into the house and informs his mother that Maggie is dead is a shock to the mind (at least it was to me!). There is a gab that we don’t how to fulfill: what happen to Maggie after she was kicked out of her house. Moreover, that Maggie is dead already and not dying when Jimmie comes to the house creates a sense of impotence.

Job Cespedes dijo...

I think that what seem grotesque to the eye in “The Ballad of the Sad Cafe” is only a distraction, and the novel deals with the most normal and common issues of modern society. For me, the story just put upside down the internal ugliness, and makes it external, so we can perceive it like if we saw it with our own eyes. I think that that is effective because we get easily scandalize for rendering so much importance to what our eyes tell, and we tend to be kind of shallow. But still we have a good portray of how life with its problems in modern society is. Aside for that, I have to say that the novel was not that interesting.

Jeremy dijo...

I would have liked to post this before, but up to now I could finish with this too long comment. I hope you get my point.

It still confuses me the plot because I think the story is not told chronologically since I see a flashback on chapter 16. This account of the events intends to contribute to clarity a little bit the confusing plot and to add one more theory about Maggie’s mysterious death. First, for me the novel suggests Maggie left and came back home just once. Second, on chapter 16 page 31 “the morning after Maggie had departed from home” Pete told her “Oh, go teh hell”; consequently, I agree she wandered on the streets. However, on page 26 of chapter 14, the novel says “Three weeks had passed since the girl had left home”. Pete was then with Maggie when he ran into Nellie; that is, Maggie continued watching him. On chapter 15, Maggie comes back home. On chapter 17 page 33, we know about a wet evening “several months after the last chapter” about a girl that “threw changing glances at men who passed her, giving smiling invitations to men…” I bet that girl must be Maggie.

Thus, we know what she was doing since she went home. I suppose she prostituted herself to survive on streets; therefore, for coming back at home it would not be necessary nor allowed to continue doing it. However, the latter point is debatable. I have just one question: why does an excerpt of chapter 18 is in the end of chapter 17? Does it imply the reader that the patronizing behavior Pete has was responsible (at least partially) for Maggie’s process of self-degeneration?

Consequently, for me Maggie died after she came back home. Why? At the beginning of chapter 16, Pete was mad with her because he did not want to loose his job so that t the owner of the salon was angered with him because of Jimmie’s fight. When Maggie asked him “But where kin I go?” he felt the question “was a direct attempt to give some responsibility in a matter that did not concern him”. Pete told her “Oh, go teh hell”. It is worthy to mention the parallelism of what Pete does to Maggie with what Jimmie does to a girl called Hattie (p. 29, ch. 15). The circumstances of both girls are so similar up to the extent Jimmie shut up and told her “Oh, go teh hell”. However, previously she “stepped closer and laid her fingers on his arm. ‘But, look-a-here-‘”. What did she mean to look at here? Was maybe she pregnant?

There are so many similarities between this passage and the one of Pete and Maggie in the Salon that maybe the former one foreshadows what is going to happen to Maggie. What if Maggie came back because she was pregnant? What if she told it to Pete? What if that issue implied responsibilities in a matter that did not concern him? What if he got as mad as he did with the waiter, as drunk as he used to be, and as worried for losing his job for his boss considering he did not have the “respectability of an advanced type” (p.31, ch16) he insisted so much? What if Pete murdered Maggie?

If my theory is debunked: when did she come back at home?
If I am wrong I am likely to support Erick’s theory about Maggie committing suicide. Maybe I am just speculating too much, but I enjoy theories about plots and even though it is hard to find clear support in the text it seemed to me that some coincidences in the text allowed coming up with mine.

Andrés Noé Solís dijo...

Reputation, is it relevant? Our reputation is made up over our own concept of morality, over the patter of conduct that every one of us has in a society. Since every culture over the world is different, its behaviors and, consequently, the reputation are different too. American code of conduct has been based on the Puritan morality. Over their strict values and double morality is based “Maggie, a girl from the streets”’ moral background and evaluated Maggie’s reputation.

We discussed about Maggie’s intelligence. From a personal point of view, Maggie is intelligent but unfortunately ingenuous. She was living in a horrible, detrimental environment. Stephen Crane manifests all the naturalistic features in the way that he describes Maggie, Jimmy and Tommy’s surroundings. The author describes their life in a poor, criticizing, and judging neighborhood, with irresponsible, alcoholic parents; however, the author makes special relevance over the violence experienced there.

In such insecure and harmful surrounding, isn’t it normal a wish of escaping? Maggie is intelligent since she recognizes the damage caused by her atmosphere, and consequently escaping from it. But, she is ingenuous believing her happiness is directly related with Pete. Ingenuous since she believes that other person would “build” her happiness. Ingenuous when thinking that her society would accept she was going to live with Pete.

Her family rejects her. Her society rejects her too. Maggie’s hope relies on Pete. When she loses Pete (if she ever had him), finally, her environment completely destroys her. Crane does not explain the reason of her death. It is not necessary. Her death is due to her environment’s action.

Some might say that her death is the end of everything, the end of her suffering. However, even though she loses everything, there is something that continues on her side, damaging her forever: HER REPUTATION.

Alex dijo...
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Natalia dijo...

I like the emphasis the author makes on the setting in terms of time. Since the beginning of the novella, McCullers provides a detailed description of the location and weather; later on, he connects the seasons of the year and Amelia’s personality. I think the seasons rule her attitude toward reality. For example, during summer, she shows furious, isolated, confused, on the defensive. “Autumn was a happy time... during these weeks there was a quality about miss Amelia that many people noticed. She laughed often, with a deep ringing laugh.” And in winter, (climax) is when she was left alone in the town. She feels lost. Definitely, there is not spring, so there is not a rebirth. I found interesting that after winter the story jumps to summer again. … I like this strategy because it makes you to feel involved in the story.

Alex dijo...

This is my last comment on Maggie. I was thinking that although Maggie is the main character and that the novel is entitled “Maggie...” we don’t know so much about her. I mean we only know about her by her actions but not by her thoughts and own feelings. Even though we can infer it through her actions, it would be just inferences. We don’t know well her psychology which leads to a great number of possibilities and interpretations about Maggie’s death. Some people say she was killed, others say that she died from pneumonia, and others think she committed suicide. However, the result is the same; she passed away…or went to hell. Which one do you think the cause of Maggie’s death is?

Natalia dijo...

Hi!! I didn’t understand the significance of Marvin Macy’s letter to Miss Amelia… why it was written partly in pencil and partly with ink???

Andrés Noé Solís dijo...

I have been rejected by some girls in my life (please, don’t calculate how many they were). The excuse: you are not the kind of guy I like. McCullers doctrine of love has been one of the ideas that I mostly have enjoyed in my life since I have been thinking about it previously. I agree in a relationship there is someone who loves more than the other. However, in my opinion, the way that McCullers exposes it is even scary.

What I mostly appreciate is the manner he explains that every one of us can be the target of a passionate lover without an exact reason. The lover realizes all the defects and faults of the beloved, but still loves him/her. Carl Jung introduces the concept of “archetype” as the innate and common images that individuals have and transmit every generation. One of the main archetypes is the “anima,” which represents the image that men have about the other sex, ideal partners and mothers. The correlated archetype is the “animus” which represents the women’s image about the perfect man. I would like to refer about the second one. What would be the Amelia’s animus.

Even though, Marvin Macy represents the “perfect couple” after his change (honest, religious, attractive), he is not a significant target of Amelia’s love; in other words, Marvin is not the kind of guy she likes! As most of you (partners) have highlighted, Amelia is not a common woman. She is very masculine. Therefore, as she is very different, her animus cannot be so usual. That is the reason I believe she falls in love with Lymon. A hunchback: a particular animus, don’t you think?

I really value how the author destroys archetypes and stereotypes, how he makes us think about what is really beautiful or not. Haven’t we in a moment of our lives considered that couple of an old man with a young girl, or that ugly guy with a beautiful girl, as inappropriate. I invite you, as McCullers does, to avoid archetypes. I’ll try too.

Natalia dijo...

I consider "Maggie, a Girl from the Streets" a realistic representation of society. Today, lack of education and poor interpersonal relationships are the main causes of poverty. Why? Well… because when people ignore all the opportunities they have to grow there is stagnation; that is exactly what Maggie did. I mean, without education and the support of our family we will become more dissatisfied with our life. The short story reveals that in the ruin of Maggie, it is she, her brother, and her mother who were responsible because of the manner in which they handled their relation.

Yulieth dijo...

Maggie, a Girl from the Streets... I`ve been reading all the comments and it is clear that Stephen Crane really moves people from "their chairs". Not only its a matters of social consciousness, but it also deals with the most deep of all human values: compassion... Alex, I also thought about the fact that we get to know Maggie just a little. I wander if this is a way to make the reader react and recreate by the setting what Maggie confronts.
Yes, once again, Crane calls for the grotesque part of society, which we want it or not, it`s us... Every day we see crime in the streets and we blame on these "thieves." But aren`t all of us part of this game? Creating social boundaries that make some people shine while others simply end up as Maggie- a flower in the swamp- or as little Tommie whose existence stops without any importance… just dies.

Roxana dijo...

As the professor explained to us in class, the environment affects families degrading its members to low conditions of poverty, squalor, and scorn, indeed. Very few families come out of that disgusting way of living and success. The people who are born in these slums are forced to live in the indifference and their position toward life is unreal, today they are alive but tomorrow they do not know. Maggie`s parents contribute negatively to maintain this poor condition because there is no other option available. Maggie wished to live with better conditions and nurtures Jimmy despite his resistance. She looks in every man a possible true lover to help her overcome the situation. Her destiny is to do what any girl might do in that social level, to sell her body while she is young enough. It is important to mention that Crane wrote this story in the 19th Century and in the 21th Century is still updated, based upon a factual event that affects Latin American countries as well as the United States, a powerful nation.

Ely Alberto!!! dijo...

The Ballad of the Sad Café.

After reading some of the comments my classmates post in the blog, I have to say that I really agree with Allan in his idea of the narrator of the novel. In this novel there is something rotten (jajaja) about the narrator and it is that I do not see it reliable at all. The description of the characters it is so grotesque, I personaly believed manipulated, and while narrating flashbacks mmm not reliable at all for me.!!!


"Maggie, a girl from the Streets"


What a novel, its language and the idea of social determinism is amazing. Many of the words were new for me and I was force to use my dictionary most of the times. The word selection or the diction really cause an effect in every single reader. The novel shows readers how difficult might be life for many people. In my opinion I felt sorry about the girl and how she was treated by her mother. (GROTESQUE)

rosaura dijo...

In Maggie, one can see how a person is victim of an abusive and depressing environment. Social determinism is reflected in an endless cycle of poverty, abuse, violence, lack of education, and consequently, lack of opportunities.
Mrs. Johnson, Jimmie and Pete stand in contrast with Maggie. She is naïve, kind and pure while the rest reveal their double standard, which makes it very ironic. None of them take responsibility of their deeds. In the case of Mrs. Johnson, she couldn’t believe Maggie’s conduct when she left with Pete: “She’s deh devil’s own chil’, Jimmie,”… “Ah, who would t’ink such a bad girl could grow up in our fambly” WHAT …come on! Then, Jimmie abandoned pregnant women and he wants to save his reputation because of what his sister has done?? It shows that this disastrous upbringing shapes and shrinks a person’s view to the extent that he/she is unable to manifest the slightest change and break the cycle.

Andrés Noé Solís dijo...
Este comentario ha sido eliminado por el autor.
Job Cespedes dijo...

"Maggie, a girl from the Streets"

I think that the final product of the novel in the reader is pity, which is something I do not like. The novel fails in accurately reproducing real life, trying to produce one particular effect in the reader. The events around Maggie’s life and death could be seen as part of real life. Nonetheless, the fact that they are addressed as social determinism diminishes the veracity of the novel. In that sense, only by looking Maggie’s background at the beginning of the story, her family, and social environment, we can deduct how is going to be the rest of her existence. Then you continue reading and that is exactly what you find in the rest of the novel. The tragic ending, for instance, was the most predictable way to finish it. I know that Crane belongs to naturalism, and that naturalism comes as a grotesque portrait of reality; however, for me, the novel resulted kind of artificial, even though life can even be tougher.

angie dijo...

Since I am doing the comment late I see that all I wanted to comment was already said, my comment about “Maggie” will be based on attacks (nothing personal) to what has already been posted. I totally disagree with Marcia and Raquel and their idea of social determinism. Marcia said “Maggie was doomed since the very begging to be who she was” If Maggie would have the strength and the conviction of being able to mark the difference instead of deciding to be what she was supposedly doomed to be by society, her reality would have been totally different. Take us, for example; we who live in a corrupt, violent, dirty, unmoral (and any negative adjective you can imagine) society, but it does not mean that we are condemned to follow this patter; yet, the majority of people will not fight against this social force because it is not easy, but it is possible to fight it, and some people do it. Stephen Crane’s Maggie was depicting a pessimist story where we do not see any real help or hope, but the fact that this is one of the themes of modernism does not mean that it is our reality, this is Crane’s perception of a reality told throughout Maggie’s life . Additionally, I understand that social determinism either destroys or helps the individual if it wants. If it decides to destroy the individual, it would be fallen in the naturalism movement because it grotesquely portrays the image of the environment destroying us. But again, this idea of naturalism is also perceived; therefore, marcia’s , raquel’s and my comment are valid; but I had to point out that I completely disagree with them.

angie dijo...

I would like to add a comment about the ballad of the sad cafe. I think that Miss Amelia was not in love with the hunchback, she loved him as a child. Miss Amelia did not like to see children terrified or hurt, and her first imperssion of cousin Lymon was exactly that one:dusty, scarcely more than four feet tall, little legs, and (por si fuera poco) he started crying!!!
think about "the hunchback of notredamme," he had the phisical appearence of a child, and Miss Amelia loved him and wanted to protect him. on page 46 it says that she always gets homesick when she was not near him, this is what mothers feel and not what a woman who loves a man feels. I mean, we can miss the person, but to get homesick??? I do not think so.