21 October The use of color in Crane’s ‘Maggie: A girl of the streets’ The novel, ‘Maggie: A girl of the streets,’ revolves around Maggie and her family, and events that unfolded as her life changed from innocence and naivety to horror and suffering. The path that she took leads to her death and Crane’s use of color experiences around Maggie. This discussion explores the author’s repeated use of color as imagery in the novel.
Color conveys meanings of emotions or environments and Crane uses color imagery to communicate experience that Mary, Maggie’s mother, went through at a point. He narrates, “Her red face was a picture of agony” to describe what Mary was going through (Crane 52). The phrase has a direct relation to Mary’s experience and associates the red color with agony and the context of the phrase illustrates the use of the color to express pain. This is because Mary is in custody, at the time, and is regretting the path that her daughter has taken in entering into a relationship with Pete. Officers’ narration to Mary that informs her of her many ‘daughters,’ who have been ruined, brings sorrow to Mary and the color imagery of agony explains this. Mary’s agony that the red color in her face depicts also includes strife between her two children that indicates lack of cohesion in her family. These also occur after Mary has lost her husband and her son (Crane 19). The red color therefore signifies vulnerability, pain, and fear of bad experiences.
The author also uses color imagery in conveying Maggie’s morality that contrasts the environment in which she lives with Pete. Pete is engulfed in immorality that seems fine in the environment and in referring to Maggie’s naivety, Pete’s female compatriot, Nell, talks of “a little pale thing with no spirit” to express Maggie’s inferiority in the environment (Crane 61). According to Nell, Maggie represents a “pumpkin pie and virtue” that Nell begs Pete not to assimilate (Crane 61). Acknowledging the inferiority that the color depicts, Pete
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