From American Dreams to American Tragedies — Theodore Dreiser’s Ponderation on American Society and Ruination of Morality

  •  Chengcheng Zhang    
  •  Hui Zhang    


Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser is one of America's greatest naturalist writers. He believed that human beings are helpless in the grip of instincts and social forces beyond their control, and he judged human society as an unequal contest between the strong and the weak. Both of his masterpieces Sister Carrie (1900) and An American Tragedy (1925), which were mostly based on his personal experience, expanded and clarified those themes. By comparing Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie and An American Tragedy, this thesis analyzes the author’s exploration of the possibilities of 20th century American life with its material profusion and spiritual doubt of the life value.

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