Books and Movies Reviews

Sister Carrie Analysis

In the novel Sister Carrie, by Theodore Dreiser, Carrie Meeber advances in social standing by using sex as a form of capital, while George Hurstwood falls from upper class status.This plot, though acceptable in modern literature, was unheard of in the early 20th century and despised by critics of the period.Dreisers work has been increasingly important since his death(Poupard, 50).
The plot of Sister Carrie is exemplary in it’s representation of 20th century naturalism and marks the change from conventional to unorthodox literature.Sister Carrie has become more important over time and is one of the most important American novels written in the 20th century(Stanley, 214).Sinclair Lewis stated that Sister Carrie is “widely hailed as the largest fruit of American realism”(Poupard, 164).
Dresier used determinism and sentimentalism to describe how ones destiny is shaped(Poupard, 49). The inability to shape ones destiny and portayal of ill situations being inevitable wasKarl F. Zender argues that Sister Carrie’s emphasis on circumstance de-emphasis on character takes away from the novel.Through Dreiser’s realism however the immodest nature of the novel is felt.Edgar Lee Masters exclaims that Dreiser’s “clear eye and accurate hand” are exemplary in Sister Carrie and presented a reality relatable to the reader(Poupard, 165).Dianne Henningfield recognizes that it is possible to focus on Carrie’s capitalism, exchanging services for goods, seeing that Carrie is pushed to her decisions for economic needs(Stanley, 215).This sort of literature was not common in the early 20th century and was not accepted by most critics of the period .
Many early critics focused on the fact that Carrie was not reprimanded at any point in the novel for her exchange of sex for goods(Poupard, 49).From Carries situations the book can be read as a tragedy of putting that much importance and value to sex, however to advan

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