Main Themes In Jennie Gerhardt By Theodore Dreiser

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"Main themes in "Jennie Gerhardt" by Theodore Dreiser ". Gunel Akhmedova Qafqaz University Master student Theodore Dreiser was one of the most eminent novelists of the end of nineteenth and the beginning of twentieth century. He was highly praised both by critics and his fellow writers. Dreiser was the only writer whose novels were included in the compulsory study at universities during his lifetime. One of his well-known novels is “Jennie Gerhardt”, which was published in 1911. Besides giving the realistic depiction of life of a simple American, "Jennie Gerhardt” reveals to readers another feature of the talent of a great writer that is deep lyricism and ability to signify delicate human experiences, sincere sympathy for the common people and their fate. There are several themes in the novel. The first and the most important theme is the theme of self-sacrifice. It serves as the core of the novel and is developed in the characters of two female protagonists: mother and daughter, Mrs. Gerhardt and Jennie. First of all, it is necessary to describe Mrs. Gerhardt. She is a middle-aged woman, the mother of six children. As we begin reading the novel, it becomes clear that Mrs. Gerhardt tries to help family survive. Throughout the novel we witness how much she loves her children and always tries to make their life easier. Secondly, the topic of self-sacrifice is fully revealed in the characte... ... middle of paper ... ...eam to “fit in” to American society. The dream is vividly depicted by Dreiser in Mr. Gerhardt. William drives Jennie out because he thinks that she is acting immorally not only from religious point of view, but according to social codes as well. The case is that during the end of the nineteenth century immigrant offsprings were criticized more abruptly than American children for their behavior. Discrimination was inevitable and most of the members of immigrant communities realized that if there was any young man or girl who misbehaves, it would harm the reputation of others too. That’s why they did their best in order to adjust to the American way of life. The only way of reaching this goal was to bring the next generation up better that Americans. This is one of the reasons that make Mr. Gerhardt become furious when he gets the news of Jennie’s condition.

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