Too arrogant to accept most of the job opportunities available to him, Hurstwood soon discovers that his savings are running out and urges Carrie to economize, which she finds humiliating and distasteful. Fitzgerald and Moy are good to Hurstwood, the saloon's manager, first providing him with gainful employment and then choosing not to prosecute when he steals thousands of dollars from them. Mencken, Sinclair Lewis, Edward Bellamy and to a certain extent Stephen Crane, the works of Theodore Dreiser were always presented to me as more important to history than interesting as literature - not exactly the kind of ringing endorsement that inspires a person to run out and buy a book today. As the years go by, there are, admittedly, many new novels entering the literary mainstream, but we should not be afraid of making judgments about which ones are better than others. But despite all her fame and success, she is left longing for something she cannot describe. It is through money that all of these characters determine their success; however, it is not the best means by which to determine their actual success. That made no sense to me.
Sister Carrie, a Norton critical edition. Hurstwood's wife refused to consent to a and Hurstwood didn't know how to tell Carrie. Hurstwood wants his share of the proceeds but she says she will press charges against him for if he insists. Oh, it was so easy now! Carrie soon gets sick, loses her job, but also encounters Drouet, who basically takes her away to live with him which must have been fairly daring at the time. Carrie has not changed from the beginning of the novel. Not for Hurstwood, who has an affair with her, marries her, and falls completely apart. But Dreiser's treatment is completely tasteful and restrained, devoid of anything like explicit sex or obscenity.
I love that this book could have been so trashy, but transcended it all. Drouet The first man that Carrie meets on the train to Chicago. That might even make some readers feel better: as long as they don't embezzle money, they won't end up dead in a flophouse. Instead it is set shortly after the beginning of the century, a transitional period when the romantic past was rapidly being overcome by the grainy realism of a new mechanised age. Her hands were almost ineffectual. So I'd argue that he comes across here as, perhaps, a qualified rather than an extreme Naturalist. To be sure there was always the next station, where one might descend and return.
Seminal American literature, and yet the simplest occurrence in Sister Carrie -- such as Carrie requesting meat -- reads like this: He caught himself looking at her smiling and she was the very picture of youth and uprightness and the tendency toward productivity and mirth and joviality, all of which were produced from her in a very feminine manner. Yet contrary to what indicated by the deceptive title, the book features very little of the eponymous heroine's trajectory often deviating to chronicle the narrative arcs of her lovers who, by turns, unwittingly aid and thwart her. Hurstwood and Carrie are now caught in a downward spiral, and Hurstwood is unwilling to work at jobs he considers beneath him. None ever has a fully formed, let alone interesting, thought; they limit themselves to dim impressions of either the obvious or the implausible. Saul Bellow recommends that you not linger over the sentences; they won't reward you. Yet thoughts dashed inside his mind in a very tumultuous fashion, tumultuous like the threshings of torrents.
Do these circumstances make a difference in how we view Hurstwood's responsibility for his fate? But reading Dreiser for his wordsmithery is like visiting Casablanca for the water I returned to this book after nearly two decades away and I found it as juicy and engrossing as ever. Bob Ames A cousin of Mrs. While Drouet conveniently ignores this topic, Hurstwood marries her though the marriage is not valid. I just finished reading this one again. Lola Osborne One of the girls in the chorus line who helps Carrie. Some of the reason for lack of sales came from a conflict between Dreiser and his publishers, who did little to promote the book.
Maybe only John O'Hara compares, if he's even still considered a major author. When the Pawn Hits the Conflicts He Thinks Like a King e. Witness massive offshoring of American jobs, workers' wages that have remained flat since the 1970's while corporate profits and executive compensation have ballooned to stratospheric heights. He becomes despondent, and falls into a life of begging and shabby motels, eventually committing suicide. Carrie eventually leaves him and he turns into a homeless man who commits suicide at the end.
Rather, their successes and failures seem random, based on chance instead of effort. His larger corpus, considered as a whole, might well place him in the Naturalist camp. They arrive in the city with nothing but their looks. She is drawn to the theater, and to music. No, it's the idea of a big city - Chicago and New York - in the world just shaking off the confines of small towns in the agricultural society, the allure of fast life, of industry, of loud sounds and bright colors and frenzy of crowds of people, all in the several square miles of the vortex of human life, so beckoning and yet so coldly cruel. He finds her when she is poor and on the verge of returning home and convinces her to move in with him. Indeed, many of the progressive reforms that came about in the wake of the working conditions described in this novel are now being undermined, as a far more steroid-charged form of hyper-capitalism has taken root in America.
But on the narrow evidence of this novel alone, his themes here strike me as, at the crucial points, aware of choice and agency. There are two versions of Theodore Dreiser's book. Either she falls into saving hands and becomes better, or she rapidly assumes the cosmopolitan standard of virtue and becomes worse. However, once this feeling fails to carry over from cards to real life and he loses his position, she abandons him for better things, despite what affection she might have felt for him. George's wife, Julia, becomes suspicious. Hurstwood's collapse and inability to adapt from Chicago to New York is still fascinating. Eventually, though, Carrie's charms become too tempting for Drouet's acquaintance George Hurstwood, a married retail manager living a comfortable existence up in Lincoln Park, who especially after watching Carrie's unexpectedly successful performance in a community play starts falling in love with her, eventually convincing her to leave Drouet on the promise that he will instead do the right thing and marry her conveniently of course omitting the fact that he is already married and with children.
Hurstwood tells his wife he will sign and will not ask for money if she'll grant him a divorce. Needless to say, the combination of Dreiser being way over my head, my limited English skills and only so much patience an 11-year-old would have with a dictionary, I soon enough started getting distracted by the afternoon episodes of Duck Tales, and therefore my memory of this book has long been just a bit fuzzy. In a final attempt to prove himself useful, Hurstwood becomes a , driving a Brooklyn during a streetcar operator's strike. Blaze through the first half as quick as you can. He leaves her, and she must begin to search for work again. Carrie however, via a pretty neighbor, meets Bob Ames, a scholar from Indiana and probably an authorial stand-in for Dreiser. Themes and Analysis Conspicuous consumption is a prevalent theme in Sister Carrie.