Study Guide

Maggie: A Girl of the Streets Chapter 2

By Stephen Crane

Chapter 2

  • Home life in the dark and dreary tenement is no treat either.
  • "[S]mall and ragged" Maggie—the big sister—and "bawling" Tommie (2.2)—the baby brother—are there to greet father and Jimmie in the family's chaotic, filthy apartment.
  • In terms of human wrath, no one compares to Mother Mary. She's Jimmie, Maggie, and Tommie's mom, as well as a raging alcoholic abuser who careens around the apartment and busts up furniture just to make a point. Nothing makes her more abusive than her son's relentless habit of getting into fights, though, and today she comes out swinging.
  • Oh, and Dad's an alcoholic, too, but he likes to seek respite by doing his drinking at a local bar.
  • Jimmie receives some sympathy from a neighbor.

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