During the eighteenth century, America had transformed from a simple homestead into an ornate country. Within the bustling empire, the wealthy were able to live lavish lifestyle that inspired the idea of the “American Dream.” The “American Dream” was a common belief that the poorest person in the United States could achieve success. With the circulation of this ideal there was a boom of immigration within America. People from all over the world traveled to America with the belief that they would be guaranteed freedom, safety, and prosperity. Unfortunately for many, The “American Dream” was an elusive lifestyle that was a complete contradiction to the realties that existed within the country. Life in America was harsh. There was little opportunity for advancement for most people, especially the lower class workers. Unemployment was steadily rising and working conditions were best described as atrocious.
In the late 1800’s the socio-economic system within America began to change. There was a boom of commercial enterprise, which was a result of mass Industrialization. Banks, Railroads, and Factories seemed to sprout up in a matter of months. With the sudden change in enterprises there also came a shift in material longi...
... middle of paper ...
...haberdashers, confectioners . . . the street was full of coaches. Pompous doormen in immense coats, shiny brass belts and buttons . . .waiting for the mistress of carriages who were shopping inside. The whole street bore the flavor of riches and show” (Dreiser, 227).
While the poor working class citizens were fighting to survive, the rich were busy looking for new processions.
Throughout Sister Carrie, there is a distinction between social classes. The rise of unemployment, unjust working conditions, pay, clothing, home life, and food were all traits that distinguished ones social class from another. Dreiser plays with the two classes in Ney York and Chicago as a means to show readers that the “American Dream” was an unrealistic ideal few could obtain. America, land of Democracy and freedom, was a land of nightmares for the poor.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- 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]
1410 words (4 pages)
- 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)
- 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.... [tags: Sister Carrie Essays]
1203 words (3.4 pages)
- According to Paul Fussell, and his essay, class is a “touchy subject.” Class is often noted as “any group of plants or animals.” However, when it comes to defining class as social distinctions, the word becomes more complex. The social class structure has remained “murky” over the years, and to most Americans, extremely complicated. In today’s society, social class has become more and more intricate, but it has never been set to where Americans feel comfortable in their own skin. Today, when talking about social class, people tend to get upset about the subject.... [tags: social issues]
899 words (2.6 pages)
- 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)
Distinction of Taste Through Hegemony Theory: An Updated Version of Tastes Effect on Social Class Through Television
- Pierre Bourdieu's Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, takes a sociological stance on cultural taste and its effect on social class. Bourdieu argues, that taste is closely related to social class and indeed acts as a marker of class. He continues to make claims of how people learn of culture and how certain culture belongs to certain social classes who have the cultural competence to understand it. By investigating the educational system, Bourdieu was able to draw conclusions of how taste should be understood and its influence on cultural consumption.... [tags: Pierre Bourdieu's Distinction]
2525 words (7.2 pages)
- 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)
- Dreiser's Reversal of Male/Female Roles in Sister Carrie The novel Sister Carrie seems to be the platform from which Dreiser explores his unconventional views of the genders. In the world of Sister Carrie, it would seem that the role of women as trusting, caring creatures, and men as scheming victimizers is reversed; it is Carrie that uses the men around her to get what she wants, and it is those men who are victimized by her. Thus Dreiser uses this novel as a means of questioning the popular notions of gender and the role that it plays in modern society.... [tags: Sister Carrie Essays]
532 words (1.5 pages)
- 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]
1537 words (4.4 pages)
- 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]
1294 words (3.7 pages)