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Sister Carrie

Sister Carrie

by Theodore Dreiser

Sister Carrie Questions

Bring on the tough stuff - there’s not just one right answer.

  1. The narrator explicitly tells us that each of the main characters (including Carrie herself) is a type. This is a bit unusual since we tend to think of major characters as being unique or special individuals (think of Huck Finn or Holden Caulfield, for instance). What effect is created by identifying these characters as types? Does that information make them more or less significant? Are we more or less likely to care about them or even remember them once we close the book?
  2. What would the sequel to Sister Carrie look like?
  3. Does Sister Carrie give us a mostly hopeful or mostly cynical view of human relationships?
  4. Would anything make Carrie happy?
  5. Should Carrie have done more to help Hurstwood in the end?
  6. Does the novel suggest that Hurstwood himself or the system is more to blame for his fate?
  7. If Carrie were around today, what songs would be on her iPod?
  8. Is Ames's view of the wealthy really Sister Carrie's view in disguise?
  9. How does the narrator shape, or even distort, our impressions of the characters?

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