Maggie, a Girl of the Street is a novella by Stephen Crane written in 1893, at the time of Industrial Revolution in America. This novella represents the condition of poor people at that time which are miserable and full of hypocrisy. Crane portrays this reality from bad perspective through this novella. In relation to this naturalism, Crane is pessimistic and skeptical in seeing the life of the poor in America in the time of Industrial Revolution.
I have one evidence in this novella that shows how pessimistic and skeptical Crane is. It is depicted in the scene when Maggie is asked by Marry, her mother, to go away from their home after she knows the fact that Maggie has already slept with Pete. After that, Maggie decides to live with Pete. Yet, a few days later Maggie sees Pete with some girls in the bar and it makes her depressed. She later becomes a hopeless girl without destination; being a prostitute and finally found dead tragically in the street without any family around her. This scene is recorded in chapter 9, page 35 and chapter 10, page 37.
This evidence through Crane’s novella proves that Crane is pessimistic and skeptical in seeing the life of the poor in America in the time of 19th Century; in this case is the life of Maggie and her family. After Maggie went away from her home, live with Pete, and finally knowing the fact that Pete is not a good guy, she is totally depressed and only wandering without destination and become a prostitute. It is represented the poor and uneducated people in America at that time cannot overcome themselves from their problems. They cannot develop and finally only end tragically and miserably as depicted by Crane through Maggie’s tragic and miserable death. It is the proof that Stephen Crane sees the condition of the poor at that time pessimistically and skeptically. He sees everything relate to the poor and uneducated people at that time in America is negative and miserable. He is also doubt and unsure whether they are able to develop and moving on to overcome themselves from their problems. That is why Crane is so pessimistic and skeptical toward the condition of the poor at that time.
(Hanifa Rahmawati. Sastra Inggris 2010. Universitas Brawijaya)