In addition to having similar life experiences, both Laurence’s Hagar and the Biblical Hagar have comparable relationships. Hagar, from the book of Genesis, shares a bed with Abram, but nothing else. Their relationship is purely physical. Hagar Shipley’s relationship with Bram is also physical, for the most part. Hagar and Bram are not connected spiritually. In fact, Hagar and Bram barely see eye to eye on many issues – primarily about their work and social life. Many scenes depict Bram and Hagar as nothing more than bedmates, and, even then, Hagar is reluctant to share with Bram.
The few times that Hagar does miss Bram, she is alone, in bed, at night; Hagar never longs for Bram during the day. Secondly, Hagar’s relationship with John parallels the Biblical Hagar’s relationship with Ishmael. Both women love their sons dearly and are willing to do just about anything for them. Hagar, also known as Agar, prayed to God, asking for Him to save her son from starvation in the desert. Hagar, the protagonist in The Stone Angel, prayed to God, or found God, in order to reconcile with John.
Although her reconciliation with John came through Murray F. Lees posing as her dead son, Hagar still makes peace with him. Unlike Hagar’s relationship with John, she has a poor relationship with Marvin. Hagar and Marvin’s relationship is similar to the Biblical Hagar’s relationship with Sarah’s son, Isaac. Having never really loved Marvin as her own son, Hagar ignores him and yells at him when he attempts to be helpful. Although Isaac is not her biological son, Hagar is Abram’s second wife; thus, Isaac is also her son.
Hagar, along with Ishmael, ridicules Isaac in the same unloving fashion that Hagar Shipley ignores Marvin. Both Hagars love one son with all their hearts while they ignore or ridicule the other. The similarities in the two Hagars and in their relationships become more apparent by comparing their relationships with their husband’s first wives. Both Laurence’s Hagar and the Biblical Hagar are second wives. Abram’s first wife is Sarah; Bram’s, Clara. The Biblical Hagar, initially Sarah’s servant, does not respect and honour Sarah whatsoever, after she is made Abram’s second wife.
Hagar is rude with Sarah and her son, Isaac. In The Stone Angel, Hagar marries Bram, who has been previously married. Although Clara, Bram’s first wife, is dead, Hagar is still impudent to her, for she does not honour her memory. Rather than mourning Bram’s loss, Hagar jests at Clara’s obesity, uncleanliness, and simple-mindedness. Hagar does not pretend to even like Clara, although she does not know her. In addition, Bram and Clara have two daughters, two daughters whom Hagar ridicules the way the Biblical Hagar mocks Isaac.