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I think it is very difficult to define the exact character of Dreisers Sister Carrie and his original intention I would say as many eyes so many opinions so no wonder there are different approaches and interpretations towards the novel which is influenced not just by the readers reading or personal experience but also by their particular philosophy of life as well as knowledge about the historical background Sister Carrie can be read as a novel of desire seduction or the critique of capitalism and consumerism Its definitely not the plot or characters which are dominant elements of it The taste and the literary value of Dreisers novel is shaped and created by its setting and the authors tone Chicago and New York have almost as organic and important role in the novel as the characters They do not just form the simple environment for the novel but they influence its character and a very strong impression Chicagos character is kind of more positive it is a city of promise luck rise Carrie We can say that in Chicago Hurtswood means something New York s character is different Its a city of lies fall impersonal isolation of walled city where surviving is much more difficult than in Chicago In New York Hurstwood means nothing The setting creates different expectations to people During the reading of Sister Carrie I was interested in searching and revealing the different kinds of desire Generally we can say that Dreiser deals with the desire of wealth social status material things which are represented by money Within this generalization we can find and identify many other faces and forms of lust and longing Carrie as an ambitious and strong woman embodies the social values of the consumer culture All she longs for is a material wealth which represents power She can be seen as a symbol of money But Carrie lives in a world of prices Her labor costs 450
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