Although there are characters in Maggie, he uses only a few to give shape to his story. He has created characters that are both individualized and stereotypical. The major characters are the members of the Johnson family, Pete, and "the outer world" as represented by the preachers and social workers.
Mary Johnson is both the selfish, abusive, alcoholic mother, and the symbolic reproducer of all the ills of the slums. Her unnamed husband is both the selfish, weak willed father that abandons his children, and paternalistic society, the society that turns its back on its child....
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