The environment in which a person grows up in strongly impacts his/her ability to succeed in life. An environment has the ability to shape and alter a person's psychological growth. It can control what a person does for a career, or what a person has to accomplish to survive. An environment will affect whom a person will encounter in his lifetime. And finally, an environment always manipulates a person's personality according to his surroundings. The environment in Maggie and "A Mystery of Heroism molded the respective characters causing them to make crucial decisions.
In the novel Maggie the environment hinders all the people within it. Maggie and Jimmie's environment consisted of a poor neighborhood with little to no chance of getting out. Their parents were very bad influences. For example, the parents always fought and got drunk. The father died. They let one of their children, Tommie, die, and they beat their kids. In this environment there are not any prosperous jobs. Therefore, there is no way to know that there is a better world outside of the environment that Maggie is located. .
Because of the environment in the novel Maggie, the characters are forced into making decisions that are not in the best of interest. For instance, because of the violence at home and the better world that Pete has shown her, Maggie decides to take refuge with Pete. When she does this her mother tells her she can not come back. Therefore, Maggie is completely relying on Pete. Furthermore, when Maggie finds out that Pete was just using her while he was waiting for Nell to come back Maggie ends up all alone in a horrible environment where not even a priest will give her shelter. Maggie becomes a prostitute probably in seek for refuge, and then eventually kills herself. As for Jimmie, both his mother and father abused him verbally and physically. He most likely felt powerless against his parents. Therefore, that is why he tried to seek power elsewhere.