Free College Essays - Analysis of Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser


Length: 1203 words (3.4 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Excellent
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Text Preview

More ↓

Continue reading...

Open Document

An Analysis of Sister Carrie

 

It was 1889; Carrie Meeber, an eighteen-year-old girl, was boarding a train from Columbia City to start a new life with her sister and her family in Chicago.  Columbia City was a small town that did not have much to offer to anyone who wanted to make something of themselves.  But in Chicago Carrie believed she would be able to find work and get good money.  Chicago, in 1889, had the peculiar qualifications of growth, which made such adventuresome pilgrimages even on the part of young girls plausible1[1].

 

            When a girl leaves her home at eighteen, she does one of two things.  Either she falls into saving hands and becomes better, or she rapidly assumes the cosmopolitan standard of virtue and becomes worse2[2].  Once Carrie arrived in Chicago and settled in with her sister and her husband she started to see that living in Chicago was not going to be as easy as she thought.  She had to get a job and pay rent, not to mention buy the things that she wished to.

 

            Most women stayed at home to take care of her children, make meals, keep house, and to care for the sick in the late nineteenth century3[3].  Only five percent of married women held jobs outside the home in 19004[4].   But some did go out looking for work in order to help their family out as much as possible with their bills.  Carrie wanted to go out and make something of herself.

 

Trying to find a job was a difficult task in itself.  "Well, we prefer young women just now with some experience.  I guess we can't use you."5[5] Carrie heard this over and over again.  Until finally finding a job that paid her three and a half-dollars a week working in a shoe factory.  This was a grueling task working with leather non-stop in a hot stuffy overpopulated room.  After becoming sick she lost her job at the shoe factory and so later on her very good friend Drouet got her a part in a theatrical performance at a Lodge.

 

Theaters were a big thing at the time for entertainment.  Many middle class people would go and see a matinee maybe once a week to have some fun.  At this time in the late 1900's there wasn't much for people to do at night and on weekends except for staying at home.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Free College Essays - Analysis of Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser." 123HelpMe.com. 18 Nov 2017
    <http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=3206>.
Title Length Color Rating  
Theodore Dreiser and Psychology Essay examples - At the time of Theodore Dreiser’s writings world culture was looking to find the psychological reasons for society’s miscreants. Psychology was the new science fad due to the popularity of Freud and other psychologists. People were beginning to delve into the world of the subconscious as the source of their troubles. No longer were all mental illnesses considered maladies of the brain. Some were being able to be treated through the treatment of the psyche, a Freudian term. Hypnotism was a popular method of therapy....   [tags: essays research papers] 2057 words
(5.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
The Protagonist in Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser Essay - The picture of the protagonist that Theodore Dreiser’s novel, Sister Carrie, portrays is only a half-truth. By examining Sister Carrie’s character, she is readily deemed as passive, weak, and full of superficial desires and yet in this profoundly inert nature lies the seed for the greater expression of an artistic soul. However, this realization is only drawn out by Ames’s archetypically scholarly eyes (the intelligent but withdrawn engineer); bringing forth the powerful and intimate beauty that Carrie possesses, which without a photograph, the reader would forever remain blind to....   [tags: Theodore Dreiser]
:: 1 Works Cited
1410 words
(4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Distinction of Social Classes in Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser Essay - By the later part of the 1800’s New York and Chicago were some of the largest cities in the world and both had populations that exceeded a million. With the growing population, the economy’s stability began to fluctuate. The instability within the states gave rise to two distinct populations within America, the upper and the working classes. Theodore Dreiser, knowing the volatile state America was built upon, highlighted the economic differences between the wealthy and the poor in his novel Sister Carrie....   [tags: economics, wealth, income]
:: 1 Works Cited
1659 words
(4.7 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
The Fall of Carrie and Hurstwood Essay - The Fall of Carrie and Hurstwood Sister Carrie, written by Theodore Dreiser, is a tale of Carrie, who comes to Chicago to somehow make the money she has always dreamed of having. In pursuit of the material possessions and success she dreams of, she involves herself with two different characters, Drouet and Hurstwood. She eventually finds herself in New York, where she has a successful performing career. Even with all the success and material possessions she has attained do not bring her happiness....   [tags: Theodore Dreiser Sister Carrie Book Analysis] 916 words
(2.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Realism and Naturalism in Henry James’ Daisy Miller and Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie - To best analyze the works of James and Dreiser, the terms realism and naturalism are critical to comprehend. Realism, as noted in the Norton Anthology, emphasizes, “the interior moral and psychological lives of upper-class people” (9). Accordingly, realism reflects a natural depiction of self, relationships and social interactions (and the class-system). Realist writers explore true interpersonal dilemmas, interactions and experiences within society, highlighting the character rather than a story’s plot....   [tags: interpersonal, conflict, environment] 819 words
(2.3 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Money Makes the Man in Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy and Sister Carrie - Money Makes the Man in Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy and Sister Carrie Through the social criticism of Theodore Dreiser, the plight of the poor is compared against the actions of the rich. In both An American Tragedy and Sister Carrie Dreiser presents characters who are driven “by ignorance and in ability to withstand the pressures of the shallow American yearning for money, success, fashion -- dreams about which Dreiser himself was indeed an authority” (W.A. Swanberg 254). Throughout his career, Dreiser wrote for a variety of periodicals in order to earn enough money to support himself....   [tags: essays research papers] 1428 words
(4.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Theodore Dreiser Essay examples - Theodore Dreiser Theodore Dreiser was born August 27, 1871 in Terre Haute, Indiana. The younger brother of Paul Dresser, a well-known songwriter, Theodore was a famous novelist known for his outstanding American writing of naturalism. He was also a leading figure in a national literary movement that replaced the observance of Victorian notions of propriety with the unflinching presentation of real-life subject matter. Even though a majority of his works were about his life experiences, he also wrote about new social problems that had risen in American at the time as well as things sexual in nature....   [tags: essays research papers fc]
:: 1 Works Cited
1294 words
(3.7 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Essay on The Naturalist Known as Theodore Dresier - ... Dreiser draws upon his experiences in trying to make it big in cities like Chicago and New York. He lived a less than glamorous life. He suffered from poverty, an abusive father, and a lack of experiences which prohibited him from landing any decent jobs. However, his experiences led to an incredible manifestation in his novels. In “Sister Carrie” the main character Carrie moves to Chicago where she is only able to work in menial, low-waged jobs in the same way that Dreiser started out. His experiences, in some form, all manifest into his writings and as such, the reader is better able to align with the characters and understand the story because they are reading it from someone who trul...   [tags: Sister Carrie, notorious authors]
:: 10 Works Cited
1216 words
(3.5 pages)
Term Papers [preview]
Characterization in Sister Carrie Essay - Characterization in Sister Carrie      The theme of unrequited love and unfulfilled ambitions, against a backdrop of a nation being transformed by industrialism and capitalism, provides the substance of Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie.  During the late 19th Century we encounter three main characters who demonstrate this underlying motif:  Carrie Meeber, Charles H. Drouet, and George W. Hurstwood.  Carrie will fulfill many of her desires for riches and success, but her insatiable appetite will leave her feeling dissatisfied at the end of the novel and all alone.  With respect to the two men who most covet her affections, Charles Drouet and George Hurstwood we have a study in contrasts.  A...   [tags: Sister Carrie Essays]
:: 4 Works Cited
1537 words
(4.4 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Father-Child Relationships in Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Theodore Dreiser's Old Rogaum and His Theresa - Father-Child Relationships in Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Theodore Dreiser's Old Rogaum and His Theresa In Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Theodore Dreiser's Old Rogaum and His Theresa, the relationships of the children and fathers are quite similar. Both stories depict a father who feels the need to physically discipline their child to get a point across. The stories both show actions and reactions by the parents as well as the children to the situations presented in these stories....   [tags: Mark Twain Huck Finn Dreiser Old Rogaum] 1802 words
(5.1 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]

Related Searches




  This gave them the chance to go out and enjoy and see friends.

 

Another thing that was growing in the cities at this time was department stores.  This was definitely a good thing for women.  It gave them the chance to buy nice things instead of wearing old, dingy things that they have had for years.  "Her woman's heart was warm with desire for them6[6]."  Getting to wear nice clothes was important to women at this time.  They were starting to make a name for themselves and wanted to be respected.

 

I think the author, Theodore Dreiser, was very clear with what he was trying to write about in this novel.  He wanted to show that women could succeed in anything they set their heart on.  Even in the work force.  He shoed the hardships that women had to face every day, not only with finding jobs but also on how men treated them.  It was almost like women could not do anything without a man's help.

 

This I found a little bias in his writing.  Everything that Carrie did or where ever she went it was always because of a man.  She left her sister to move into her own house because of her friend Drouet.  And she left Drouet to move to Canada and eventually New York with Hurstwood.  But in everything they did for her she seemed to take it and leave.  It was almost if they were not good enough for her. 

 

But all in this entire entire novel follow the way history went in these days.  He clearly showed how hard it was for women at this time to find work or even work that was suitable and healthy for them at a good paying price.  The dawn of the century saw the rise of a new generation of women.  Longer lived, better educated, and less often married than their mothers, they were also willing to pursue careers for fulfillment. They would often turn to professions that involved the traditional role of a nurturer7[7].  And this was exactly how Carrie lived, she became and actress and did this to fulfill what she wanted out of life not for what others wanted for her.

 

Dreiser also showed that strikes were not uncommon in cities or anywhere in the country for that matter.  "Strikes Spreading in Brooklyn." "Rioting Breaks Out in all Parts of the City8[8]."  Strikes were going on because workers could no longer take the conditions they had to work under and they did not like that they were not getting paid well.

 

The one thing that Dreiser did not mention at all with Carrie was she was never pressured into having children.  As Americans left the countryside for the city, and as the old artisan system of manufacture declined, large numbers of children usually became a hindrance rather than an aid to the family's economic well being9[9].  Carrie had no time for children plus the way her lifestyle was a child would not have been the best thing.  She never really loved any of the men she was with.

 

Over all I must say that Dreiser did a very good job in creating an atmosphere of how people lived in the late nineteenth century early twentieth.  He did not stereotype people or criticize them.  He just showed it how it was.  I found this book to be very good not only in the story line but also the way he put it along the historical way of living at the moment in history.  I would also say the reason for this book being so good was because it was originally written in 1901 not too far off from the time period he was writing about.

 

Works Cited

Elliot J. Gorn and Randy Roberts, Constructing the American Past (New York: Longman, 1999)

James West Davidson and Mark H. Lytle, Nation of Nations (Boston: McGraw Hill, 1998)

Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie (New York: The Modern Library, 1927)


Notes:

1[1]Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie (New York: The Modern Library, 1927), 16.

2[2] Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie (New York: The Modern Library, 1927), 2

3[3] James West Davidson and Mark H. Lytle, Nation of Nations (Boston: McGraw Hill, 1998), 765.

4[4] James West Davidson and Mark H. Lytle, Nation of Nations (Boston: McGraw Hill, 1998), 624.

5[5] Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie (New York: The Modern Library, 1927), 25.

6[6] Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie (New York: The Modern Library, 1927), 75.

7[7] James West Davidson and Mark H. Lytle, Nation of Nations (Boston: McGraw Hill, 1998), 765.

8[8] Theodore Dreiser, Sister Carrie (New York: The Modern Library, 1927), 473.

9[9] Elliot J. Gorn and Randy Robert, Constructing the American Past (New York: Longman, 1999), 111.

 


Return to 123HelpMe.com