How was Maggie, the little girl, an angel in disguise for the Thompson family in T S Arthur’s story “An Angel in Disguise”?
Or, How did Maggie transform the lives of Joe and Jane Thompson in the story?
T. S. Arthur’s short story “An Angel in Disguise” deals with a poor little crippled girl called Maggie who was in a sad state after her mother’s death. Though the villagers agreed to take the responsibility of the two other siblings John and Kate, no one bothered to care for Maggie, as she had been sick and bed-ridden for two years due to a fall from a window. Everyone suggested to take the orphan girl to the poorhouse but none took the initiative.
After the funeral of her mother was over, everyone left the place leaving behind Maggie alone. Only one man, Joe Thompson had some feeling for the little girl and he took her home overcoming the fear of her ‘vinegar-tempered wife’.
Naturally, Mrs. Thompson was not happy initially and insisted Joe on taking the girl to the poorhouse. But gradually, she developed a soft corner for the girl. Actually, the Thompson couple was childless and probably years of loneliness made her short-tempered and irritable. Now, the sweetness of the little child, her look of love, patience and gratitude
… a look of gratitude that awoke to new human life old human feelings which had been slumbering in her heart for half a score of years.
So, Jane Thompson now found the child as a “precious burden” and carried her in her heart as well as in her hand. The girl finally brought a new ray of hope and joy in the woman’s life, as well as in the entire Thompson family. Though Maggie was a mere burden at the beginning, she turned out to be an angel in disguise for the family. The author thus concludes —
An angel had come into his house, disguised as a sick, helpless, and miserable child, and filled all its dreary chambers with the sunshine of love.
Actually here in the story Maggie is the “angel in disguise” . Her entrance in the Thompson family brought a wide change in the feelings of the members in the family . Her politeness, gratitude, purity brought the soul of happiness in the family , as if the family got a new life full of love and pure soul . The irritations , anger and sorrow were erased out from the life of Mrs. Thompson. We know the popular saying that children are the beautiful creations of the nature like the flowers . Similarly Maggie took the place of the flower in the true natures groove and made all the complexities of mind to surrender in front of the purity of her heart and her gratitude.
As Mr. Thompson’s family was a lonely family with no child the presence of the pure heart of Maggie made very ones heart to melt and a new livelihood came back to their family.An angel came to the family , disguised as a sick helpless and miserable child and filled all its dreary chambers of heart with the pure innocent sunshine of light. This is how Maggie the little girl was a Angel in Disguise of Thompson’s family.
In this story, both Mr. Joe Thompson and Maggie can be regarded as the said angel in disguise. When Maggie is grieving for the death of her mother, she looks at Mr. Joe Thompson somewhat pleading him to help her.
“O, Mr. Thompson!” She cried out, catching her suspended breath, “ don’t leave me here all alone”
All the other villagers had left Maggie alone and had decided if nobody was to adopt Maggie, she would be sent to the orphanage
“Take her to the poorhouse” said a rough man, of whom the the question “What’s to be done with Maggie?” was asked.
Although Mr. Thompson was a man of a rough profession, his heart was not so. He loved children. As he stood outside the hovel, he thought of his wife’s reaction. She was a woman with a hellish temper. He knew she would not be very pleased at first but was also sure that behind all those layers of rage and her frozen heart, deep down was a mother, a childless mother ready to share her love and empathy. It was this love and empathy that he thought Maggie would find in his wife and thaw her heart.
Joe Thompson picked Maggie and took her home. Mrs. Thompson was not pleased at first sight.
“You haven’t brought home that sick brat!” Anger and astonishment were in the tones of Mrs. Joe Thompson; her face was in a flame.
Joe Thompson consoled his wife, asking her to put herself in Maggie’s shoes, feeling her emotions, what she must be going through. He requested her to be gentle and loving towards the child. Mrs. Thompson took relief on hearing that Joe would take her to the orphanage the next day.
On returning from work the next day, he saw through the window, his wife talking to Maggie. She had grown feelings for the poor girl and Mr. Joe Thompson could sense that in her even though she tried to hide them. The day Maggie was to be taken to the poorhouse kept getting extended endlessly by Mrs. Thompson and the day never came. The Thompsons took Maggie as their own.
Mrs. Thompson, the once vinegar tempered woman, was now a loving mother.
Thus, Maggie was an angel in disguise for the Thompsons.