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Maggie A Girl of the Streets by Stephen Crane shows that the environment that a person is raised in will have an effect on that persons life in the future The story is a tragedy of a family the Johnsons who are living a life of poverty and abuse in the slums of New York City in the late 19th century The main character Maggie Johnson has a dream to escape her life of poverty and brutality Maggie is described to have blossomed in a mud puddle Crane 22 but she eventually begins to live the life of prostitution and she dies a tragic death Most critics say Crane reveals quite strikingly his own psychological involvement in his literary works Gullason 148 and others say He tried to live what hed already written Benfey 5 No editor was willing to publish Maggie because they found it to be too realistic and said that it would shock readers Crane was forced to publish the story at his own expense under the pseudonym Johnston Smith When Crane was asked to describe Maggie he said that the novel tries to show that environment is a tremendous thing in the world and frequently shapes lives regardless Pizer Crane 153 Maggies tragic death was a result of many factors in her environment including the neighborhood she was raised in her mother Pete and the moral standards set in the Bowery The first three chapters of Maggie A Girl of the Streets shows a typical night for the Johnsons and the environment that Maggie and her brother Jimmie are being raised in The first sentence A very little boy stood upon a heap of gravel for the honor of Rum Alley Crane 3 shows the need to fight for survival in the slums We meet five members of the Johnson family Jimmie Maggie Tommie the baby the father and the mother The horror begins with the mother who is a
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