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The cruel reality of poverty is examined in Stephen Cranes Maggie A Girl on the Streets In it Maggie Johnson born in the rough streets of New York dreams of having a better life one with culture money and meaning- the opposite of the one she was born with Though she believed that her dreams were becoming tangible with the aid of Pete she ultimately returns to the streets and is destroyed by them Throughout the novel the birth and demise of Maggies search for meaning encompasses Cranes forlorn portrayal of society Maggie was a rarity in her environment She blossomed in a mud puddle She grew to be a most rare and wonderful production of a tenement district a pretty girl 16 She also possessed inner beauty which was equally rare in the streets shown by her love for her brothers and her benevolent nature The fact that was raised in a broken home and was able to remain innocent amidst the chaos shows the integrity of her personality Because she wasnt absorbed into the maelstrom of city life she developed the dream of having a better life Maggie did not begin to truly believe in her illusions until she laid her eyes on Pete She then transferred her illusions onto him and was swept away blind of his real personality and intentions She believed that he would take her away from her miserable situation because to her Pete was a knight 20 He roused her dreams by taking her to lively places such as the theater and dance halls making her want a new life After going to the theatre She wondered if the culture and refinement she had seen imitated perhaps grotesquely by the heroine on the stage could be acquired by a girl who lived in a tenement house and worked in a shirt factory28 Maggie took initiative by physically trying to improve her environment She kept her apartment tidy even
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