Study Guide

Maggie: A Girl of the Streets Chapter 5

By Stephen Crane

Chapter 5

  • Back to Maggie, a pretty young girl in a dilapidated tenement. What hope does she have growing up on Rum Alley? Her delicate beauty is lost on her co-workers at the sweatshop, where she sews collars and cuffs.
  • Jimmie's in charge of the house now. Drunken Mary is still around, getting into scraps and developing her own relationship with police justices. Let's just say she's on a first-name basis with the local Bowery cops.
  • Then along comes Pete—he's that guy who saved Jimmie's tail when he was getting into it with those Devil's Row urchins oh so many years ago.
  • Through Maggie's eyes, Pete is a hunk and a savior. His contempt for the world and air of superiority floats her boat; she's all in.
  • As she stares Pete down, Maggie becomes hyper-aware of the filth and disarray of her home. Compared to this noble gentleman (her thoughts), her surroundings are an embarrassment.
  • She decides that he is the "ideal man" (5.25).

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