Study Guide

Sister Carrie Chapter 17

By Theodore Dreiser

Chapter 17

A Glimpse Through the Gateway: Hope Lightens the Eye

  • Carrie writes to Hurstwood telling him about getting the part in the play. He writes back telling her to meet him in the park the next day so he can hear more about it.
  • When they meet up, he insists on coming to see her debut. She's hesitant, but Hurstwood tells her not to worry and that he'll arrange it so that Drouet doesn't know it was Carrie who told him about it. Hurstwood can see that Carrie is super psyched about the play.
  • A few days later, Drouet and Hurstwood run into each other at a bar and Hurstwood tells him that he's heard about the play. Drouet asks how he heard and Hurstwood tells him the lodge sent him some tickets (Hurstwood is also an Elk, by the way).
  • Drouet tells him Carrie's going to be in it and Hustwood plays dumb and acts surprised. They agree that she'll do a good job and Hurstwood promises to take them out to dinner after the show.
  • Carrie attends her first play rehearsal run by Mr. Quincel, who is assisted by Mr. Millice. Millice thinks he's a big shot because he's had a little acting experience. You fancy, huh?
  • Mr. Millice is none too pleased with most of these amateur actors' performances, but he's very impressed with Carrie. The director asks Carrie if she's had experience acting before—she's so good—which makes another actress, Mrs. Morgan, super jealous.
  • Carrie goes home, excited to tell Drouet about the successful rehearsal, but Drouet really doesn't seem to care too much. This just makes her even more eager to sneak off to see Hurstwood.
  • She meets up with Hurstwood, who is excited for her and says he plans to sneak into a rehearsal to see her; she begs him not to. They part ways and Carrie is all smiles.