New Perspectives on Margaret Laurence: Poetic Narrative, Multiculturalism, and Feminism

By Greta M. K. McCormick Coger | Go to book overview

Chapter 2
The Angel and the Living Water: Metaphorical Networks and Structural Opposition in The Stone Angel

Michel Fabre

The opening of The Stone Angel, whose statue in the first paragraph provided Margaret Laurence with the title of her novel, has often been studied for its emblematic and mystical content. It is in fact easy to see in the blind angel that marks the grave of Hagar's mother a prefiguration of the emotional blindness that will afflict Hagar for a long time; to see in the opposition between the beautiful layout of the cemetery and the proliferation of the wild flora, the reflection of a chronic struggle between cultural order and disorder in nature; finally, to underline that the pioneers of Manawaka, those would-be pharaohs in an uncultivated country, have founded their dynasties to the detriment of the aborigines, the white success upsetting once more the Indian harmony. 1 Inscribed in the first paragraph a clue should, however, draw the attention more, for it signals a characteristic displacement in the expected balance, setting off the beginning of a structural opposition (and not only a symbolic one), a lack that will be partially canceled at the end of the novel.

The essential clues in the first three pages first order space in the tale: the verticality of the angel, as the elevated location of the cemetery (and the garbage dump) on the whole, indicates its consecration whereas the little city, a space at first conquered over the uncultivated areas of the geographical "wilderness" then built with brick and stone, is already in a privileged position in relation to the few, scattered outback farms, such as Shipley's, and the even more remote cabins of the half-breeds, then, finally, the prairie. The monumental angel represents also permanence of time inscribed in the eternal in opposition to the changing reoccurrence of the two seasons brought by the wind, which blows alternately snow and dust.

Another pregnant contrast is that of the cultivated flowers and of the wild plants. Within the civilized space can be found pompous peonies whose haughty heads weigh too much for their stems. These bitter-sweet smelling funeral bouquets, pink or a detestable crimson color, are in harmony with the little girls in

-17-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
New Perspectives on Margaret Laurence: Poetic Narrative, Multiculturalism, and Feminism
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 238

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.