Study Guide

Sister Carrie Chapter 25

By Theodore Dreiser

Chapter 25

Ashes of Tinder: The Loosing of Stays

  • Hurstwood gets back to his office and mulls over the problem of his wife and his other problem of Carrie failing to show up. He puffs on a cigar for a while, and then decides to send a messenger to take the money to his wife. He feels like a total loser for caving to her.
  • Hurstwood hangs out with some coworkers. The messenger returns to say that he delivered the money and that Mrs. Hurstwood had said "it was high time" (25.23).
  • He goes to sleep, but tosses and turns. The next day, he goes to the office and checks his mail—still no word from Carrie. He begins to wonder how he's going to get her away from Drouet, so he fires off a letter asking where she was the day before and if she'll meet him as soon as possible.
  • Days pass with no word from Carrie. He does get a letter from Mrs. Hurstwood's lawyers asking Hurstwood to contact them, though.
  • A few days later, Hurstwood goes to Carrie's apartment to see what's up. But when he gets to her building, he gets paranoid that a guy nearby is watching him, so he leaves. On his way back, he passes by the building where George Jr. works, which reminds him that his kids haven't seemed to care that he's been gone.
  • Hurstwood gets back to the office and chats with some friends, but he still feels pretty crappy. He eats dinner and returns to the office. He buries himself in work to try and distract himself from his personal problems.
  • The next day he gets a notice in the mail from Mrs. H's lawyers. Uh-oh—it's a warning that Mrs. H is going to file for divorce and alimony the next day.
  • Hurstwood is livid. He goes out for a walk to try and cool off.