“She thinks my name is Freddie, you know, but of course it ain't. I always tell these people some name like that, because if they got onto your right name they might use it sometime. Understand?”
The first social expose in fiction to render "how the other half lives", Stephen Crane's Maggie is one of the most powerful depictions of the urban poor of its time. As a reviewer stated shortly after the work's appearance in 1893: "Maggie is a study of life in the slums of New York, and of the hopeless struggle of a girl against the horrible conditions of her environment; and so bitter is the struggle, so black the environment, so inevitable is the end, that the reader feels a chill at his heart".
Originally published in 1893, Maggie: A Girl of the Streets tells the story of the impoverished Johnson family and their experiences living in the squalid Bowery neighborhood of New York City. When the eldest of the Johnson children, Maggie, commits an act deemed disgraceful by society, her life is tragically altered by the aftermath of the community’s rejection.
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