The Stone Angel

by

Margaret Laurence

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on The Stone Angel can help.
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 woman, a steadfast caregiver to Hagar. Doris works hard to keep Hagar comfortable, picking her up from her many falls, washing her sheets that she wets almost every night, and attempting to make her comfortable by introducing her to the local minister, Mr. Troy. All of Doris’s kind actions measure up to nothing, however, when Hagar realizes that Doris and Marvin are about to “betray” her by placing her in a nursing home. Doris, a religious woman who is deeply concerned with how she and her family appear to others—a trait Hagar abandoned in her youth—is a direct foil to Hagar, and is often depicted as bumbling and self-absorbed. In reality, though, Doris often puts her concerns about her own health and well-being second to her concerns for Hagar, whom she dutifully loves more out of obligation than anything else.

Doris Shipley Quotes in The Stone Angel

The The Stone Angel quotes below are all either spoken by Doris Shipley or refer to Doris Shipley. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the University of Chicago Press edition of The Stone Angel published in 1964.
Chapter 4 Quotes

It’s better to know, but disappointing, too. I wonder now if I really want to fling this door wide. I do and don’t. Perhaps the thing inside will prove more terrible even than one’s imaginings.

Meantime, Doris feels it behooves her to bolster Marvin.

“It’s just as Marv says—the doctor says you’d be much better off—”

“Oh, stow it,” Marvin says, all of a sudden. “If you don’t want to go there, Mother, you don’t need to.”

“Well, I like that!” Doris is outraged. “And who’ll do the laundry, I’d like to know? You, I suppose?”

“I don’t know what in hell I’m supposed to do,” Marvin says. “I’m caught between two fires.”

Related Characters: Hagar Shipley (speaker), Marvin Shipley (speaker), Doris Shipley (speaker)
Page Number: 118
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 9 Quotes

What could I possibly tell her, I wonder, that could do her any good? She knows a lot more than I did when I married. Or maybe she doesn’t, really, but who’s to tell her? I haven’t a word to send her, my granddaughter. Instead, I tug at my right hand, pull and shake, and finally wrench off the ring.

“Send her this, Doris, will you? It was my mother’s sapphire. I’d like Tina to have it.”

Doris gasps. “Are you—are you sure you really want to, Mother?”

Something in her eyes saddens me, makes me want to turn away.

“Of course I’m sure. What use is it to me? I should’ve given it to you, I suppose, years ago. I could never bear to part with it. Stupid. Too bad you never had it. I don’t want it now. Send it to Tina.”

“Mother—” Marvin has a very loud voice sometimes. “Are you sure?”

Speechlessly I nod. Why all this fuss? In another moment I’ll take the wretched thing back, to shut them up. Doris pops it in her purse, as if she’s been thinking the same thing.

Related Characters: Hagar Shipley (speaker), Marvin Shipley (speaker), Doris Shipley (speaker)
Page Number: 279
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

Doris returns. She fusses over me, fixes my pillows, rearranges my flowers, does my hair. How I wish she wouldn’t fuss so. She jangles my nerves with her incessant fussing. Mr. Troy has left and is waiting outside in the hall.

“Did you have a nice chat?” she says wistfully. If only she’d stop prodding at me about it. “We didn’t have a single solitary thing to say to one another,” I reply. She bites her lip and looks away. I’m ashamed.

But I won’t take back the words. What business is it of hers, anyway?

Oh, I am unchangeable, unregenerate. I go on speaking in the same way, always, and the same touchiness rises within me at the slightest thing.

“Doris—I didn’t speak the truth. He sang for me, and it did me good.”

Related Characters: Hagar Shipley (speaker), Doris Shipley, Mr. Troy
Related Symbols: The Stone Angel
Page Number: 293
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire The Stone Angel LitChart as a printable PDF.
The Stone Angel PDF

Doris Shipley Character Timeline in The Stone Angel

The timeline below shows where the character Doris Shipley appears in The Stone Angel. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
...Hagar often slips into reverie. She lives with her eldest son Marvin and his wife Doris, and is well-aware of the fact that they’re frightened of her and her bad habits—such... (full context)
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
Womanhood Theme Icon
A “timid tapping” at Hagar’s bedroom door snaps her from her reverie, and her daughter-in-law Doris—a plain, frumpy woman who often condescends to Hagar and paints herself as a “martyr” for... (full context)
Womanhood Theme Icon
...horrible pain behind her ribs—a pain that has been coming more and more often lately. Doris struggles to help Hagar up, but cannot. She calls for Marvin as Hagar unwillingly begins... (full context)
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
...he hoists Hagar to her feet, he is visibly upset and says that Hagar’s falling—and Doris’s strained attempts to help her up—have “got to stop.” Hagar blames her fall on the... (full context)
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
...them live together in a fairly large four-bedroom house Hagar bought for herself years earlier. Doris and Marvin have two grown children, Steven and Tina, who are in their twenties and... (full context)
Choices and Identity Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
Hagar apologizes for being a burden, but Marvin and Doris quickly try to placate her and insist she isn’t one. When Hagar again begs them... (full context)
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Choices and Identity Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
Womanhood Theme Icon
...same, containing a hopeful sparkle, all his life—even “near the last.” Hagar relents and tells Doris that she can invite the minister over next week. (full context)
Chapter 2
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
...Troy prays briefly with Hagar and then leaves, and Hagar is overcome with paranoia that Doris and Mr. Troy are working together to get her out of the house. (full context)
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
...make him breathe in through a shout—she now forces herself to continue breathing just as Doris enters the kitchen. Doris seems aware that Hagar has seen the advertisement, but does not... (full context)
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
Womanhood Theme Icon
Doris replies that at least Hagar looked nice for the visit, pointing out her flowered dress.... (full context)
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
Doris shakes Hagar from her reverie. Hagar, momentarily confused, desperately pleads with Doris not to sell... (full context)
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Choices and Identity Theme Icon
Womanhood Theme Icon
...in the living room and looks around at all of her things. She cannot believe Doris and Marvin “regard the house as theirs.” As Hagar looks around at the knick-knacks, bric-a-brac,... (full context)
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Choices and Identity Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
Doris comes into the room to tell Hagar it’s almost time for dinner, and Hagar begins... (full context)
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
...comes into the living room and Hagar asks him to fetch her cigarettes for her. Doris appears and says she’ll go, as Marvin is tired, but Marvin insists he can go... (full context)
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Hagar sits in a large armchair in her room, relieved to be away from Doris and Marvin if only for a little. She looks through the pictures she keeps in... (full context)
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
Marvin knocks at the door and asks to come in. When he opens the door, Doris is beside him, and she urges Marvin to do what he “promised.” Marvin, visibly uncomfortable,... (full context)
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
Marvin and Doris continue begging Hagar to see reason, but Hagar insists that “if it were John,” he... (full context)
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
...a cramp in her foot, she knocks over a lamp, shattering it on the floor. Doris flies into the room, asking what the matter is, and “moans” about the broken lamp.... (full context)
Chapter 3
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
As Hagar sits with Doris in the waiting room at Doctor Corby’s office, its bare walls remind her of the... (full context)
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Choices and Identity Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
...paintings there are—and how a man in the doctor’s position could “afford” to hang more paintings—Doris shushes her and begs her to mind her manners. Hagar is reminded of how she... (full context)
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
That night, after supper, Doris suggests they all go for a drive. Marvin and Doris tuck Hagar carefully into the... (full context)
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Choices and Identity Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
Womanhood Theme Icon
Inside, the matron of the home shows Marvin, Doris, and Hagar around. She offers lovely descriptions of the activities and amenities provided to residents,... (full context)
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
Doris comes running across the lawn towards Hagar, shouting about what a “scare” Hagar’s given her... (full context)
Chapter 4
Choices and Identity Theme Icon
Womanhood Theme Icon
Hagar and Doris make a series of trips to the local hospital so that Hagar can have her... (full context)
Choices and Identity Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
Womanhood Theme Icon
After the doctor’s report reaches Marvin and Doris days later, they are “secretive about it” and tell her only that the doctor has... (full context)
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Doris calls Mr. Troy once again, knowing their family is in need of advice. He comes... (full context)
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Choices and Identity Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
Doris shakes Hagar from her memories. Hagar is confused as to what time it is, and... (full context)
Chapter 5
Choices and Identity Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
Doris helps Hagar get into bed, but Hagar knows she will “not sleep a wink tonight.”... (full context)
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Choices and Identity Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
Considering fleeing Marvin and Doris, Hagar looks back on the last time she fled home—years ago, when she took twelve-year-old... (full context)
Choices and Identity Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
...pain in her ribs has returned, and there is a terrible taste in her mouth. Doris comes and helps her downstairs. While Doris is in the kitchen, readying breakfast, Hagar sneaks... (full context)
Choices and Identity Theme Icon
As soon as Doris is gone, Hagar makes her way to the bank. As she stands in line, she... (full context)
Chapter 6
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Choices and Identity Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
...also believing for several moments that she is back in her house with Marvin and Doris. She gets angry with them for trying to unseat her from her home, and feels... (full context)
Chapter 7
Choices and Identity Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
...to head back home, to the comforts of the house she shares with Marvin and Doris, but then becomes determined not to give up—or to allow herself to be sent off... (full context)
Chapter 8
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
...doing all alone, and asks if Hagar’s all right. Hagar suddenly believes that Marvin and Doris have sent the man to bring her back, and she tells him that she refuses... (full context)
Chapter 9
Choices and Identity Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
...hears footsteps approaching. When the door opens, she turns her head to face it: Marvin, Doris, and Murray have all come for her. (full context)
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Choices and Identity Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
Womanhood Theme Icon
Marvin is relieved that they have found Hagar.  Doris, though, is furious with the woman for throwing them into an “awful scare,” and says... (full context)
Choices and Identity Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
Marvin urges Doris to shut up—they need to take care of Hagar, who is clearly suffering from exposure.... (full context)
Choices and Identity Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
Murray offers to help Doris and Marvin take Hagar out of the cannery, but they tell him he can leave.... (full context)
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
Hagar asks where Doris is, and Marvin explains that she’s had a “spell” and isn’t feeling well. He admits... (full context)
Choices and Identity Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
Womanhood Theme Icon
The next day, Hagar receives visits from Doctor Corby, Doris, and Marvin. Doris brings her flowers to cheer her up, along with the other things... (full context)
Choices and Identity Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
Womanhood Theme Icon
...her. Hagar says she’ll move, attempting to quell Marvin’s temper, but it’s too late—he and Doris are upset, and they leave. After they go, Hagar pretends to be asleep—though she can... (full context)
Chapter 10
Choices and Identity Theme Icon
...is confused as to where she is, and believes she is home with Marvin and Doris. As she stands to walk to the bathroom, a nurse stops her and puts her... (full context)
Choices and Identity Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
Hagar wakes from a nap to find Doris and Mr. Troy at her bedside. Doris leaves the two of them to talk while... (full context)
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
Several hours after Doris and Mr. Troy have left, Hagar has another visitor, a young man whom she doesn’t... (full context)
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Hagar recalls the last time she ever went to Manawaka. She visited alongside Marvin and Doris, and was shocked to see the changes in the town. The old Shipley place had... (full context)
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Womanhood Theme Icon
The three of them drove out to the cemetery, and though Doris stayed in the car, Marvin and Hagar walked out to the family plot. The stone... (full context)
Memory and the Past Theme Icon
Choices and Identity Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Resentment Theme Icon
Womanhood Theme Icon
...Hagar’s whole “world” has become nothing but a needle. Confused and agitated, Hagar calls for Doris, desperate to get back to her “sleek cocoon.” The nurse comes to her side and... (full context)