| Quote #1
but then the need of being loved, the strongest need in poor Maggie’s nature, began to wrestle with her pride and soon threw it. (1.3.34)
This need to be loved is a running theme in the book and frequently guides, and even dictates, Maggie’s actions and response to other people.
| Quote #2
Poor child! It was very early for her to know one of those supreme moments in life when all we have hoped or delighted in, all we can dread or endure, falls away from our regard as insignificant, - is lost, like a trivial memory, in that simple, primitive love, which knits us to the beings who have been nearest to us, in their times of helplessness or of anguish. (3.1.16)
This primitive love refers to a sort of instinctual and deep bond that exists between family members, and also between people who have known one another a long time. Family and the past play a major role in defining and guiding love in this book.
| Quote #3
it seemed to be a world where people behaved the best to those they did not pretend to love and that did not belong to them. And if life had no love in it, what else was there for Maggie? Nothing but poverty […]. (3.5.72)
Love for Maggie is closely linked to family, or those that "belong" to her, and to honesty and genuineness. Maggie is severely depressed to find a lack of love in the world, and her life quest seems to boil down to either finding a type of genuine love in the world or finding "something else." Perhaps a modified definition of love?