Study Guide

Maggie: A Girl of the Streets Religion

By Stephen Crane

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Are you there, God? It's me, Maggie. See, though this book is peppered with references to religion and Christianity, as well as Irish immigrants (a notoriously Catholic bunch), religion never actually seems to be a viable solution to anyone's problems. When you're living hand to mouth (and fist to face), it's easy to get caught up in the daily grind and not spend a whole lot of time wondering about the big guy in the sky. That said, people are plenty willing to invoke morality and sin—especially Maggie's abusive, alcoholic mom. Wee.

Questions About Religion

  1. Why does Jimmie dislike Christians so much?
  2. Why does Mary Johnson use the language of sinning when she clearly doesn't live by any other religious principles?
  3. Are there any religious characters in the novel?
  4. Does this book suggest that the church plays a role for anyone in the Bowery?

Chew on This

The Church makes an effort to reach out to the people of the Bowery, but is only mocked and used for food in return.

Ultimately, this book is a scathing indictment of Catholics.

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