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Sister Carrie

Sister Carrie

by Theodore Dreiser

Sister Carrie Analysis

Literary Devices in Sister Carrie

Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory

Setting

Although Dreiser's descriptions of setting can be a little dense, we've got to give him props for really giving us a great idea about what the world of these characters in nineteenth-century Chicag...

Narrator Point of View

Man, this narrator sure loves to throw his two cents in. (And let's just be clear that the narrator isn't synonymous with the author, alright? Onward.) It's not so much that the narrator is super...

Genre

DramaThe novel presents small and large conflicts on both a personal and societal scale. This isn't the type of book we would read for its surprising plot twists and turns (though there are a few);...

Tone

Sister Carrie is the perfect book to curl up with on a rainy, dreary day. That probably has something to do with its gloomy tone: Once the bright days of summer pass by, a city takes on that somber...

Writing Style

Let's put it this way: some readers have not been fans of Dreiser's style. One famous critic even accused him of "writing like a hippopotamus." (Source.) We're not exactly sure what that's supposed...

What's Up With the Title?

This is a question that readers have seriously been asking since the book first came out. Some readers have even been a little ticked off by the title because they were expecting this story to be a...

What's Up With the Ending?

We leave poor Carrie, lonely and sad, in her rocking chair, as the narrator pipes up to address her directly: Know, then, that for you is neither surfeit nor content. In your rocking-chair, by your...

Tough-o-Meter

Sure Sister Carrie might have you occasionally reaching for the old dictionary to look up a word like hornswoggled, and the narrator's philosophical digressions may throw out a few ideas that slow...

Plot Analysis

Let the Adventure BeginEighteen-year-old Carrie Meeber leaves her small town with plans to live with her sister and her sister's husband in Chicago. In these early chapters, we get to know Carrie a...

Booker's Seven Basic Plots Analysis

Carrie may have left her parents' home with dreams of adventure and excitement in the big city, but she's only met with gloom and struggle when she gets to her sister's apartment in Chicago. And wo...

Three-Act Plot Analysis

Small-town gal Carrie Meeber moves to Chicago and her life really starts to get exciting: She moves in with Drouet, develops a passion for acting, and starts up an affair with Hurstwood. Carrie le...

Trivia

When Dreiser began Sister Carrie, the only thing he had in mind was Carrie's name. As he told an interviewer, "My mind was a blank except for the name. I had no idea who or what she was to be. I ha...

Steaminess Rating

Although Sister Carrie was condemned for being immoral when it first appeared, there's nothing too explicit here (which makes us think those nineteenth-century readers must've had pretty wild imagi...

Allusions

Sappho (7.4)Shakespeare (7.4)Herbert Spencer (10.2)"Over the Hills" by Will Carleton (16.11)Moulding a Maiden by Albert Ross (32.93)Dora Thorne by Charlotte Brame (32.100)Epictetus (33.9) Laza...

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