scroll to top
Stuck on your essay?
Get ideas from this essay and see how your work stacks up
Word Count: 7,548
Sister Carrie Author Experience What most struck Sister Carries first readers was the clarity and understanding that Dreiser brought to the figure of Hurstwood The novels heroine however puzzled many reviewers who found her to be as William Marion Reedy put it real but paradoxically shadowy Words like shadowy nebulous paradoxical expressed the uneasiness early critics felt about the character Even the books admirers tended to think that its extraordinary power has little to do with the delineation of foolish worldly wise Carrie2 There was moreover little agreement about what sort of woman Carrie represented some saw her as calloused and driven by hard cold selfishness while others used terms of endearment that matched Dreisers own sentimental language for his waif amid forces3 Ninety years later the situation hasnt changed much The contradictions in Carries character - a narcissistic young woman in whom self interest yet who on her spiritual side was rich in feeling for the weak and the helpless4 - have encouraged critics to see her as everything from a Victorian vamp and golddigger to a naive dreaming girl from the country driven this way and that by the promptings of biology and economy and pursued on her course by the passions of her rival lovers5 Some readers attribute the wide range of critical responses to what they consider the young authors shaky grasp of Carries makeup Behind this judgment lies a more general sense that Dreiser possesses as F O Matthiessen said very little of the psychologists skill in portraying the inner life of his characters6 Certainly Dreisers way of assigning motivation to characters lends itself to this charge In the post-Freudian literary culture that shaped our views of the novelist Dreisers insistence on the physiological determinants
@Kibin is a lifesaver for my essay right now!!
- Sandra Slivka, student @ UC Berkeley
Wow, this is the best essay help I've ever received!
- Camvu Pham, student @ U of M
If I'd known about @Kibin in college, I would have gotten much more sleep
- Jen Soust, alumni @ UCLA