Discussing Imagery in Margaret Laurence's novel "The Stone Angel".

Essay by niceguy606High School, 12th gradeA+, May 2006

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Discuss Laurence's use of three of the following images to develop characters/ themes in The Stone Angel.

-flowers/earth -stone -animals -water -journey(physical/spiritual) -Scottish lineage


As in any literary work, imagery is an essential element in accenting characters, and giving a better understanding of events as they progress. Of course, the novel "The Stone Angel" by Margaret Laurence is no exception. Imagery plays an important role in developing various themes and characters in the novel. Images such as flowers, the element of water, and even the stone angel itself, represent the themes of Hagar's outlook on life, the essence of life and lack there of, and the theme of pride respectively. The use of these images and their representation adds a sense of depth to the story, and puts the characters that much closer to the reader.

When flowers are referred to in the novel, there are two main references: free, wild flowers and domestic, cultivated flowers.

These two flower types represent both Hagar's outlook on life, and how she should have lived her life. Earlier on in her life, when Hagar attends college, she "upgrades" her attitude towards life and becomes a proper and civilized lady. Being the cultivated woman that she was, she stood proud and independent, and looked down upon that which was untamed and feral. Of course, this was exactly the case with her husband Bram, as he came from a very average family, and lacked the proper manners and etiquette which Hagar admired herself for. She was quite determined to transform her husband from the wild flower that he was, to a prim, potted plant, much like her. Then, as Hagar gets older, she realizes how desolate her life really was. She longed to be known as a proper and...