Maggie A girl of the Streets Hypocisy Essay

This essay has a total of 698 words and 4 pages.


Maggie A girl of the Streets Hypocisy





To Pretend to be What One is Not
One of the many themes shown in Maggie: a Girl of the Streets is that of hypocrisy.
Hypocrisy occurs when one pretends to be something that he or she is not, and most people
associate the word to a person that speaks poorly of something, yet commits that something
him or her self. In Maggie, many of the main characters in the novel display the evil
trait of hypocrisy. The trait is displayed by the characters of Pete, Jimmie, and both
Mr. and Mrs. Johnson. They pretend to be what they are not.

In the beginning of the novel, Jimmie gets into a fight with his peers of the street.
After the fight has progressed for some time, Jimmie's father must spilt up the children.
Mr. Johnson, who is Jimmie's father, says, "Here, you Jim, git up, now, while I belt yer
life out, you damned disorderly brat" (Crane 5). This quotes is a strong display of
hypocrisy. Mr. Johnson acts in disapproval of Jimmie's fighting. As a disciplinary
action against further fighting, Mr. Johnson threatens to beat Jimmie up. To stop his son
from fighting, Mr. Johnson does what he tells Jimmie not to do by beating him.

Another main character in Maggie displays the trait of hypocrisy. That character is Pete.
At one point in the novel, he is sitting with his "girlfriend," Nell, talking about how
kind he is to her and all her friends. He says, "An'body treats me right, I allus trea's
zem right!" (Crane 56). In truth, Pete does not treat his girlfriends with any respect at
all. Earlier in the novel, he left Maggie, his current girlfriend, basically by
herself as he ran off with Nell. When he says this

quote to Nell and her friends, he treats himself as one that is loving to others and
expects kindness and respect in return, when he is actually cruel and uncaring. He
pretends to be something that he is not, and he later tells Nell to be nice to him,
ignoring the fact that he is not really nice to her.

During the lowest point in Maggie life, she becomes a prostitute. Whenever she walks
around the town, even in the poorer districts, people try their hardest to avoid helping
or even looking at her. The characters think that they are too repeatable to even be on
the same side of the street as her. These characters are hypocrites because they think
poorly of Maggie and think highly of themselves, but the opposite is true. If they were
indeed repeatable, they would see that Maggie is a poor child that needs help. They
should be willing to help her not trying their hardest to avoid her.

Both Jimmie and Maggie's mother, Mrs. Johnson, display the trait of hypocrisy. They think
that Maggie has 'gone to the devil' because she has committed a act that others think is
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