Study Guide

Maggie: A Girl of the Streets Chapter 1

By Stephen Crane

Chapter 1

  • Spoiler alert: This book starts at the bottom of the heap and ends at the, er, bottomer of the heap.
  • The book opens with violence (get used to it). A ragamuffin named Jimmie is fighting with other Bowery neighborhood urchins to represent Rum Alley—a seriously down-and-out area—against the thugs from Devil's Row.
  • These kids don't pull any punches, and Jimmie is good to go, though he's outnumbered. Luckily, a bigger kid named Pete come to the rescue… sort of. At least he provides some cheerleading. Pete's too cool for school, with a sneer and a cigar stump, but he helps Jimmie, so how bad can he be?
  • Another fight flares up with some more kicking and pounding, but this time Jimmie's dad arrives on the scene and gives his son a swift kick to the head.
  • With that, it's time to go home.

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