“A proud man”, said C. S. Lewis once “is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you’re looking down, you can’t see something that’s above you.”
A similar theme, of pride and a myopic perspective of the world, is expressed in the novel by Margaret Laurence, “The Stone Angel”. The novel revolves around the proud, self-inflicting woman named Hagar Shipley who lives in small prairie town ofManawaka,Canada. The narrative shifts from past to present revealing throughout the novel her broken, derelict psychological struggles and her obstacles in the way of her happiness. One of the greatest themes in the novel is ‘pride’, the streak of which is vividly portrayed in Shipley’s character.
It begins at a small age, where she exhibits her inherited tendency to pride herself. At first for her father, Jason Currie, “a self-made man” (Laurence, pg. 3) which also compromises her ability to deal effectively with the conflict resolution in her day to day relationships. With her father as well, she recalls a dispute ending in this way: “He turned and went outside… I felt I must pursue him, say it was a passing thing and not meant. But I didn’t” (Laurence, p. 44, 45).
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