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.
- Will You Walk Into My Parlor essays look at a novel by Theodore Dreiser, that teaches a lesson that the pursuit of power, and greed has a very real cost.
Theodore Dreiser, in his novel The Financier, ..
Carrie's fears on the train are extreme, but they have a realistic component. Dreiser's method of exploring the inner world of his characters is to draw realistic surface tensions that, as in a Rembrandt portrait, point to more irrational elements below the surface. Carrie's panic attack passes when she meets her sister at the station, but it is replaced by other, more primal anxieties. For Carrie, Minnie "carried with her much of the grimness of shift and toil" ( 11). In contrast to Drouet, Minnie recalls the life she had left behind, and Carrie finds that "she was very much alone" with her sister, "a lone figure in a tossing, thoughtless sea" (12). Carrie's response brings to life Dreiser's first, rather abstract comment on her inner life. She was, he stresses, "not conscious" that the "threads which bound her so lightly to girlhood and home were irretrievably broken" (3).
Critical Essays on Theodore Dreiser, G
16. The best analysis of Paul Dresser's emotional instability is in Richard Lingeman, Theodore Dreiser: At the Gates of the City, 1871-1907 (New York; Putnam's, 1986), pp. 392-6.
Dreiser sister carrie analysis essay
13. For discussions of this condition see "Stereotypy/Habits Disorder," in Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, ed. Robert L. Spitzer, third edition revised (Washington, D. C.: American Psychiatric Association: 1987), pp. 93 - 5; and Harry Harlow, Determinants of Infant Behaviour (London: Methuen, 1961), p. 89. I am in debt to Dr. Robert Catenaccio for leading me to these sources and for the many hours of discussion about Dreiser and other matters over the years. For different views of Carrie's rocking, see Donald Pizer, "Sister Carrie, " in The Novels of Theodore Dreiser (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1976), pp. 67, 82; and Philip Fisher, Hard Facts, pp. 154-6.
Theodore Dreiser : Beyond Naturalism - quischedliri
8. Among the few critics to address the question, Kenneth S. Lynn shrewdly focuses on Carrie's "depressed, dissatisfied" personality Lynn argues that these symptoms reflect the pathology of the gold digger, and he concludes that "Dreiser's instinctive knowledge of his heroine led him to describe quite accurately an attitude of mind which he did not consciously understand." ("Theodore Dreiser: The Man of Ice," in The Dream of Success [Boston: Little Brown and Company, 19551, p. 34. ) Carrie does, of course, have something of the gold digger about her, as is often the case with this type of personality.
Theodore Dreiser : Beyond Naturalism ..
17. Warwick Wadlington makes a strong case for the existence in Carrie of a "core of innate psychic activity that exists buried in all [Dreiser's] characters, rising fitfully, 'opportunistically' to the surface only when an external reality seems to promise fulfillment,'' in "Pathos and Dreiser," Southern Review 7 (Spring 1971): 411-29; reprinted in Pizer, Critical Essays, p. 222.