Theodore Dreiser's "An American Tragedy" Analytical Essay by Ninners

Theodore Dreiser's "An American Tragedy"
This paper discusses the idealized illusion of the American dream in Dreiser's novel, "An American Tragedy".
# 58570 | 2,715 words | 5 sources | MLA | 2005 | US
Published on May 16, 2005 in Literature (American) , English (Analysis)

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This paper explains that Theodore Dreiser's novel, "An American Tragedy," describes the life and eventual downfall of a young and ambitious Clyde Griffiths, as well as events in Dreiser's own life. The author points out that, throughout the novel, the reader learns of Clyde's unusual childhood, as well as the other events leading up to his misdeeds. The paper summarizes that Dreiser depicts a crime motivated by the pursuit of the American dream, which, in the end, reveals itself to be only an illusion.

From the Paper:

"Born in Terre Haute, Indiana, Theodore Dreiser grew up poor in an extremely religious family, causing his fascination with the wealthy in his town. His adolescence was very similar to that of Clyde Griffiths, the novel's main character. Dreiser's father was "a fervent Catholic" who, like Asa and Elvira Griffiths, "never stopped preaching rectitude and self-control to his children, but his guidance was of little practical help." Escaping his rigid conservative family life, Dreiser moved to Chicago eventually landing his first job as a reporter for the Chicago Globe. He continued working as a reporter for varying newspapers, and published his first novel Sister Carrie."

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