Maggie: A girl of the streets by Stephen Crane is a short novel about a young girl and the people in her life. Despite its shortness , this book tells many significant themes that its author twist throughout the book. Such themes are Determinism, Hypocrisy, False morality, self-deception, and appearance verses reality.
Maggie's mother, Mrs. Johnson, is a symbol of hypocrisy in the story. She lost her husband, and had to raise her children by herself in poverty. She Drinks to heal the pain so that she doesn't have to face reality. In her Drunken state, She becomes intimidating and overwhelming, even to her children. She is insane and can be described as an animal, often gossiped about in the neighbor hood. How can a women who is an overweight, brutal, alcoholic be a good role model for her kids?.
It is Mrs. Johnson's responsibility as a mom to care for and love her kids no matter what. However, she does not understand by this idea. She disowns her daughter when Maggie becomes a prostitute, and kicks her out of the house. When only thing Maggie was trying to do was survive in anyway possible after Pete (her Boyfriend) leaves her. Pete was the one who exposed her to this bad lifestyle because that all that hung out at his "high class" bar. The reader can tell from the vary beginning of the book that Pete was only using her.
Mrs. Johnson never gives the support Maggie needs to make it, neither does Jimmie, her brother. With an alcoholic mother and a violent brother. Maggie tries to escape from the zoo her house has become. Mrs. Johnson is constantly worried about her reputation. She doesn't want the neighbors to think she supports her daughter's behavior. She wants to be seen as the perfect mother. Even though she drinks all the time and breaks stuff in her house.
Mrs. Johnson thinks that she is an ideal mother who gave her children all they needed and more. This is the false morality depicted in the book since she was actually the opposite.