Study Guide

Sister Carrie Chapter 10

By Theodore Dreiser

Chapter 10

The Counsel of Winter: Fortune's Ambassador Calls

  • It seems as though Carrie has moved into Drouet's three-bedroom apartment—her trunk and clothing are there, and we're told she's been hanging out there a lot and cooking for him. Plus, she's plagued by a guilty conscience over what she's done… though what she's done isn't spelled out.
  • Drouet tells Carrie about how he invited Hurstwood over, and Carrie feels a little worried about what this guy will think of their living situation. Drouet tries to reassure her by saying, "He doesn't know anything. You're Mrs. Drouet now."
  • Wait—what? Did we miss the wedding?
  • No, no we didn't. It turns out Drouet is only pretending that they're married, but he has managed to bring up a sore subject because Carrie immediately asks why it is they haven't gotten married yet (since he'd promised). He gives her some baloney excuse about needing to wrap up a property deal before he can tie the knot.
  • But lest you think Carrie is head over heels for Drouet, think again. She's actually getting a little bored with the guy and wants to get married mostly for the sake of appearances (it's 1889 after all, not an era in which society is generally okay with moving in together before marriage).
  • Hurstwood arrives… and move over, Drouet. Now here's a guy Carrie could really fall for… and she starts to do just that from the moment he walks in.
  • Instead of feeling threatened, Drouet senses Hurstwood's approval of Carrie (he's being extra charming to her) and is pleased that he's managed to bag a babe that's so attractive to a man of Hurstwood's caliber.
  • Drouet and Hurstwood teach Carrie to play euchre. There's some mild flirtation going on between Hurstwood and Carrie, but Drouet still seems cool with the situation.
  • Before Hurstwood leaves, he invites them both to the theater. He also insists that the next time Drouet is away on business, he's just got to let Hurstwood show Carrie around. Drouet agrees without batting an eye.
  • Carrie and Drouet concur: Hurstwood is just the best.