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Biblical Archetypes in the Stone Angel

             Biblical Archetypes in The Stone Angel.
             In many great novels, the author alludes to religious annotations or other fictional and non-fictional works to increase the overall dramatic effect. The characters in the novel become an archetype from the original version of the other compositions. In The Stone Angel, Margaret Laurence's characters refer time again to religious proverbs and Biblical stories. When Hagar Shipley is talking about her father she says, "He never missed a Sunday service, though, nor a grace at meals. He said it always himself, slowly, while we fidgeted and peeked.(17)" The references show a religious side and help build character for the individuals in the novel. Margaret Laurence takes an article out of the Bible about an Egyptian bondwoman named Hagar, and uses her as the archetype for Hagar Shipley in The Stone Angel. Throughout the story of The Stone Angel you will come to the certainty of how Hagar Shipley's character and life correspond with that of Hagar, the Egyptian bondwoman from the book of Genesis. .
             The story of Hagar the Egyptian bondwoman, begins in Chapter 16 of the book Genesis. Sarah was married to Abraham and was unable to provide children to start a family. Since Sarah was unable to conceive, Hagar bestowed her house servant to her husband. Sarah thought this was fair so that Abraham could provide heirs to his name. Ishmael was the first son born. Unexpectedly, after the birth of Ishmael, Sarah became pregnant and begat Issac. She became very jealous of Hagar and Ishmael so she banished them off in the wilderness. Fortunately, God saved both Hagar and Ishmael and gave them water and promised Ishmael that he would be the founder of a great nation- The Desert Dwelling Nomads. Decades later, Isaac gave birth to two sons, Esau and Jacob. When Issac was blind and near death he told Esau to make him feast so he could bless his first son before he died. Rebekah (Issac's wife) favoured her son Jacob, made a feast for her husband and sent Jacob to receive the blessing and steal his brother's inheritance.

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