Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Books & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Co-Fi)

Dreiser, Theodore

american dream time carrie

(US, 1871–1945)

Dreiser grew up in a large immigrant German Catholic family and received no formal education. He began his writing career as a newspaperman, and wrote his first novel in his spare time. Sister Carrie (1900), which was highly controversial in its day, is seen by many as Dreiser's masterpiece. It follows the journey of Caroline Meeber to the bright lights of Chicago where she fulfils the American Dream, and emerges from poverty to become a wealthy actress. It is, however, the tragic downfall of Carrie's one-time lover, Hurstwood, from successful saloon manager to homeless vagabond, which becomes the dramatic focus of the novel. In the long but engrossing An American Tragedy (1925), Dreiser shows the American Dream turning into nightmare when the successful and unscrupulous social climber Clyde Griffiths finds himself accused of murder.

Upton Sinclair, Frank Norris.


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