The Stone Angel


Margaret Laurence

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The Stone Angel Characters

Hagar Shipley

Hagar Shipley is the novel’s protagonist and narrator. A ninety-year-old woman whose rapid physical and mental decline often sends her reeling backwards into memories of her youth in the fictional Manitoba prairie town of Manawaka… read analysis of Hagar Shipley

Marvin Shipley

Hagar’s oldest son Marvin is, at the start of the novel, a veritable mess. Caught between the demands of his ailing mother and his frustrated wife Doris, he knows that a decision about… read analysis of Marvin Shipley

Doris Shipley

Doris is, in Hagar’s eyes, a frumpy but shrill woman undeserving of her husband Marvin’s affections. In reality, though, Doris is a supportive partner to Marvin and even, despite her resentment for the… read analysis of Doris Shipley

Brampton “Bram” Shipley

Hagar’s coarse, crass, domineering husband Bram is a farmer fourteen years her senior, with two children from a previous marriage. Bram has a reputation throughout town as a shiftless, drunken womanizer—to Hagar, he represents… read analysis of Brampton “Bram” Shipley

John Shipley

Hagar’s second son John is her favorite from birth. A bright and inquisitive child, John provides Hagar’s life with the kind of softness it’s been missing in the years since her marriage to Bram… read analysis of John Shipley
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Jason Currie / Hagar’s Father

Hagar’s father. A Scottish immigrant from a prominent but not particularly wealthy family of proud, strong Highlanders, Jason Currie originally rose to prominence in Manawaka as the founder and proprietor of the town’s first… read analysis of Jason Currie / Hagar’s Father

Dan Currie

Hagar’s older brother. A weak, frail child who milks every sickness he endures to gain affection from Jason and Auntie Doll, Dan eventually succumbs to pneumonia and dies. Hagar’s failure to comfort him… read analysis of Dan Currie

Matt Currie

Hagar’s older brother. The stronger of the two, Matt nonetheless succumbs to influenza in his twenties and dies, resentful of Hagar until his last days for the fact that she received an education while… read analysis of Matt Currie

Lottie Drieser

One of Hagar’s childhood friends. Lottie, teased as a young girl and called “No-Name” because her father abandoned her and her mother, eventually rises in Manawaka society to become the wife of the wealthy… read analysis of Lottie Drieser

Arlene Simmons

The daughter of Lottie and Telford, Arlene is first introduced as a prissy and silly young girl, her wealthy parents’ only child. After the Depression hits Manawaka, though, Arlene takes up with Johnread analysis of Arlene Simmons

Mr. Troy

A minister from Doris’s church who comes to call on Hagar several times. He attempts to offer her solace through prayer and quiet contemplation, but Hagar rejects his entreaties for her to accept the… read analysis of Mr. Troy

Murray F. Lees

When Hagar runs away to Shadow Point and takes refuge in an abandoned cannery, one evening she becomes afraid that an intruder, tramp, or vagrant has come to rob her—however, it is a scrawny and… read analysis of Murray F. Lees

Sandra Wong

A young girl who shares Hagar’s semiprivate hospital room. Admitted for an appendectomy, Sandra worries that the operation will be painful. Hagar assures her it’ll be a breeze, but when Sandra wakes up from… read analysis of Sandra Wong
Minor Characters
Auntie Doll
The Currie family’s housekeeper.
Charlotte Tappen
One of Hagar’s childhood friends, a well-to-do young girl whose family throws Hagar and Bram a wedding celebration when Hagar’s own family refuses to acknowledge the union.
Telford Simmons
One of Hagar’s childhood friends, Telford is the scrawny son of the local mortician who eventually grows up to become a wealthy banker.
Henry Pearl
One of Hagar’s childhood friends, Henry is the one to eventually deliver the news of John’s horrible car accident.
Mr. Oatley
A wealthy “import-export” man—in truth, a former smuggler—who hires Hagar and takes both her and John in at his massive house after she leaves Bram.
Jessica “Jess” Shipley
One of Bram’s daughters from his first marriage.
Doctor Corby
Hagar’s doctor.
Mrs. Jardine
A kindly, frail, gossipy woman on the public ward at the hospital who befriends Hagar and helps her adjust to life there, giving her tips on how to deal with the doctors and nurses and get the medicine she needs.
Mrs. Dobereiner
A woman on the public ward at the hospital who sings in German all night every night and who, apparently, prays each day for death.
Mrs. Reilly
An obese woman on the public ward at the hospital.
Steven Shipley
Hagar’s grandson, a confident young man who briefly visits her in the hospital.