From Chapter 3 in The Stone Angel,  in what senses are Bram and Hagar opposite in nature?  How do Bram and Hagar differ in their feelings about children?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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One way in which Bram and Hagar are opposite in nature in chapter 3 can be seen in the treatment of horses.  Hagar prefers to care for animals when they are in pictures, or kept at a distance.  For example, she enjoyed "The Horse Fair," a portrait of horses.  At the same time, Bram does not like pictures of horses.  He prefers the real experiences of tending horses. This highlights a critical difference between both of them.  Hagar prefers distance from emotional elements.  One of the differences between both of them is their connection to emotions. Hagar is more removed, reflective of the traditional construction of masculinity, even though she is a woman.  Bram is much more reflective of a woman's traditional connection to emotions. This can be seen when Bram searches for Soldier and experiences the pain of Soldier's loss.  Bram is shaken when Soldier dies, while Bram is more distant from it, only able to offer a tepid empathy as consolation.  This can be seen in how they feel about children.  Bram is much more willing to emotionally connect or interact, while Hagar is more emotionally distant from children.  As evidenced with her distance between Marvin and John, Hagar sees emotions as reflective of the distance between admiring a portrait of horses and actually caring for horses.  Hagar can only offer emotions from a distance, evident in how her life is one of reflection throughout the novel.  This distance filters through much of her emotional connections and is reflective of how she views children and emotional consciousness, in general.

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