Study Guide

Sister Carrie Chapter 30

By Theodore Dreiser

Chapter 30

The Kingdom of Greatness: The Pilgrim Adream

  • Hurstwood begins to think an expensive city like New York isn't such a great place to be if you're not filthy rich. Despite his financial woes though, he and Carrie find a nice apartment with a sweet view of Central Park. Carrie complains about how small it is compared to where she lived in Chicago, but so it goes in NYC.
  • Hurstwood sets about looking for business opportunities. He ends up finding work managing a local saloon (oh yeah—and he also invests a thousand dollars for part ownership of the business).
  • At first he's pretty stoked about having gotten his new career going, however things sour pretty quickly. His alcoholic business partner is cranky and Hurstwood doesn't really care for the saloon's sub-par clientele. Plus, the business doesn't pay as much as he expected.
  • About a month after getting the job, Carrie announces she's going to buy a dress. He asks her if she can wait because money is a little tight. She agrees to hold off, but thinks it's a little weird since he never had money troubles before. She starts to notice other signs of financial problems and grows uneasy.
  • On top of his money troubles, Hurstwood lives in fear of running into someone he knew from his old life. He recalls a time in which he ran into someone on the street who promised to stop into his saloon but then never did. He also sees trouble on the horizon in his marriage so long as money problems persist.