发布于:2021-06-18 23:20:46

Name: 李涵奇 Fiction Title: Sister Carrie Author: Theodore Dreiser New Vocabulary.

Date: 2010-6-22

Satchel--A small bag, often having a shoulder strap, used for carrying books or clothing. Wile--A stratagem or trick intended to deceive or ensnare. Rudimentary--Of or relating to basic facts or principles; elementary. Fidget--To behave or move nervously or restlessly. Canvass -- To try to persuade people to support a political party, politician, plan etc by going to see them and talking to them, especially when you want them to vote for you in an election. Fumble--To try to hold, move, or find something with your hands in an awkward way. Proffer: to offer something to someone, especially by holding it out in your hands. Setting: The fiction was written in 1990 and the story took place in August1889 in Chicago. It was period when the second industrial revolution was flourishing. Main Characters: Carrie Meeber, Charles Drouet, G. W. Hurstwood, It’s hard to find a favorite character in such tragic story. We love a character mainly because of Trueness, Goodness, Prettiness. The Heroine Carrie Meeber may be worth of my sympathy. She was pure and beautiful, and eager to live a good life, which is beyond question. However, she didn’t resist the temptation. But finally she succeeded on her own. She became mature, but the happiness she dreamt of was gone with wind. Conflict or Problem: The main conflict was the big gap between the reality and the dream. Carrie wanted to be rich and famous, to live a high life. However, the life itself was severe and harsh, so she felt so confused and vacant in that society. Events: 1. Carrie left the hometown in Wisconsin and went to Chicago by train to find her sister in Chicago. On the train, she met Drouet who promised to call on her.

2. In Chicago, life was so difficult. One day when Carrie was finding work, she met Drouet. Drouet introduced Hurstwood to her. 3. Before long, Hurstwood fell love with Carrie. However, his wife found this affair and wanted to sue for divorce. Later, Carrie and Hurstwood were marrie and went to New York. 4. In New York, Hurstwood lost all his money and became a scab who finally died. While Carrie left Hurtwood and became famous as an actress. In spite of her success, she couldn’t feel the happiness. Summary and Conclusion: Carrie Meeber, a country girl, came to the big city Chicago for the good life. Once she knew Hurstwood, a rich man who was quickly obsessed in her. He divorced with his wife and stole a sum of money. Under a fake name, he married Carrie and went to New York. However, he lost everything there including Carrie and finally died. Meanwhile, Carrie succeeded in being an actress but live a empty life alone. Sister Carrie is a story about the classical theme “American Dream”. How do we judge Carrie? Though she finally achieved her American Dream, the writer seems to have no intention to praise her. I think this is maybe Dreiser was too ethical. As a well-known naturalism writer, he couldn’t escape the traditional realism ideas. If this story was rewritten by Hollywood playwright, it can adapted to be an encouraging story. A Study of the lack of love in Sister Carrie 【Abstract】 Sister Carrie is a masterpiece written by Theodore Dreiser. The paper aims at showing the lack of love in the years of the 20th century with the help of Maslow's human need hierarchy and Darwin's the fittest survival theory. The author gives a brief introduction to Dreiser's work and the aim of writing the paper. Secondly, the author describes the background knowledge of the early 20th century, Dreiser's life and the masterpiece Sister Carrie briefly. Thirdly, the author proves the theme by analyzing the relationship between Carrie and her sister, the relationship between Carrie and Drouet, the relationship between Carrie and Hurstwood and the relationship between Hurstwood and his family. Then, the author points out that it is the Capitalism and the nature of man that makes the lack of love in that period.? 【Keywords】Sister Carrie, human need hierarchy, the lack of love, Capitalism, relationship 1.Introduction〖HJ1.0mm〗 ?Among the writers of the 20th century, Dreiser is probably the most significant and outstanding one in American naturalism .His masterpiece such as Sister Carrie, Jennie Gerhardt, the Financer, the Titan and the Stoic. Dreiser was left-oriented in his views. He visited Russia and wrote Dreiser Looks At Russia and Tragic America to express his faith. Before his death, he joined the Communist Party. It is Dreiser' announced intention to report 'the coarse and the vulgar and the cruel and the terrible in life in defiance of the gent and evasive current literature with which he had absolutely no patience and sympathy. Nevertheless, Dreiser had a warm heart .His sympathies were always with the oppressed and the weak.

As Charles Walcott observes, Dreiser's writings reveal a tremendous vital lust for life with a conviction that man is the end and the measure of all things in a world, which is devoid of purpose and standards. Sister Carrie is a masterpiece in 20th century, which can reflect Dreiser's opinion clearly. It develops itself by describing Carrie's relationship with Drouet and Hurstwood and is companied with other personal relationship between Carrie and her sister, between Hurstwood and his family members. ?2.General Back Ground Knowledge ofthe Society and Dreiser's Life. ?Born in Indiana, Dreiser was the ninth kid of the 13 children in his family .His parents emigrated from Germany to America. Dreiser lived a misery life in his childhood. After his father's wool mill was destroyed by fire, Dresser's father was impaired and his family was poured in to a sea of poverty. Seeing no hope in life, his father converted to Christianity to avoid the countless trouble in life. His mother had to take the responsibility to support the family by hard working .In order to avoid hunger and cold, his family had to move from town to town. He received little education. He was impressed deeply by his brother and sister's misbehavior. His early life gave him a critical eye on the society and Dresser's sister's experience of eloping with a man was the raw material of the masterpiece of Sister Carrie .He was once financed by a teacher to study in a university for one year. Even though his formal education is not enough but his works are worth reading. ?With the development of industrialism, science and new philosophy of life that considered science as an important factor to economic increase, the society developed at great speed in the early 20th century. Industrialism produced financial giants, whereas at the same time slums appeared in great numbers. The poor lived a life of insecurity, suffering and violence. The gap between the rich and the poor was unbelievably large. There were a lot of rich people seeking for pleasure and a mob of poor people struggling for survival. ?Dreiser was greatly influenced by Darwin's theory-fittest survive and he was widely read in literature such as Zola, Mark Twin and his contemporaries Jack London, Frank Norris were all on his reading list. His life experience and books made him believe the fact that the man was just an animal driven by lust and greed. ?3. The Relationship between Carrie, Her Sister and Brother -in-law ?According to a great humanistic theorist Abraham Maslow, human need can be arranged in a hierarchy ranging from the most necessary requirement for survival at the bottom to the most profound expressions of human potential self-actualization at the top. What Carrie needed to do first was to guarantee that she had food and drink to keep her from hunger and thirst. She had to have clothes and house to keep her warm and stay away from severe weather. When she first came to Chicago, she had to live with her sister-Minnie. Minnie 'flat was small and located in the area resided by laborers and clerks, which reflected her sister's poor condition. Her brother-in-law treated her with great indifference. Once she suggested go to a theater in high spirit but received strong disapproval and indifference. What Mr. and Mrs. Hanson cared most was how to pay back their loan as quickly as they could. As for Carrie's arrival, it was because of Carrie's request to find some job to do and to found better living condition. They were two kinds of people. Carrie still had a lot of beautiful dreams to do, while her sister had lost the inspiration for life because of heavy burden. Carrie did not care it .She only knew herself. It was the same to her

sister. They were all poor people in that industrial country. Minnie and her husband wanted Carrie to find job as quickly as she could for she had to have money to pay for her living. If Minnie had some sympathy to Carrie, it had vanished when she thought of her own living condition. They all had no money. They had no ability to show sympathy to others. They all had family to rise. Things went on naturally. When Carrie lost her job and the situation of finding a job seemed even worse, the Hansons treated Carrie with greater indifference. The atmosphere in her sister's flat became gloomy and unbearable. Carrie became a big burden to the Hansons. . Love did not exist in the family even between Mr. Hanson and Mrs. Hanson. Once her sister thought that if Carrie did not came to Chicago to work hard, what would be their benefits? It seemed that everything was done in commercial way. ?As for Carrie, she was too young to thinking of living. She wanted to have some entertainment and fine clothes even when she had no money. She did not pay much attention to her sister's life. After her leaving from her sister's flat, she only wrote to her sister once to tell her she was all right. It seemed that she had already forgotten her sister and her parents. She became a restless person driven by desire for better living and lost her innocence. ?Capitalism did bring something to poor people. That is hard work, hunger and indifference. People had to satisfy their own need first, and then they could show sympathy to others. ?4. The Relationship between Carrie and Drouet ?As for the relationship between Carrie and Drouet, I would like to express it with the help of Darwin's theory, which was quite popular in the early 20th century. Darwin's theory prevails throughout the novel. Clothes, furniture, how much money one earned and spend, how beautiful the clothes were-these words appeared in the novel frequently. All these indicated the plight of Carrie and pushed Carrie to a sea of desire for beautiful things. Carrie moved along like a mechanism driven by her desire and caught blindly at any opportunity for better existence. She just like a feature in wind. She could not control herself. "When a girl leaves her home at eighteen, she does one of the two things. Either she falls into saving hands and becomes better or she rapidly assumes the cosmopolitan standard of virtue and became worse of an intermediate balance under the circumstances, there is no possibility." Unfortunately

Carrie did not get the help from a kind person to become better. Drouet was not that kind person who really wanted to help Carrie. When he first came across Carrie, he was attracted by Carrie's beauty and innocence. His original desire to attract young beautiful girl dominated his mind. Drouet paid a lot of attention to his appearance. "He came within the meaning of a still newer term, which had sprung into general use among Americans in 1880, and which concisely express the thought of one whose dress or manners are calculated to elicit the admiration of susceptible young women-a "masher". Through this description, we can see what kind of person Drouet was. When he spoke to Carrie, he had the only idea to play with this innocent girl. Carrie's mind of self-protection vanished when he thought of Drouet's help. She was lured by luxurious food and furniture when they ate together in a luxurious restaurant. Her understanding of money was simple that was rich people lived luxurious life, while poor people had to struggle for survival. She had been poor since she was born. She was afraid of living poor life like her sister. When she lost her job and finding a new job was difficult, she accepted Drouet's money. When she held that soft money, she felt the safety, which was the power of money. At first she was embarrassing to accept the money, but soon she got used to doing this.

?As for Drouet's pursuit of women, he meant them no harm. He loved to make advance to women, to have them succumb to his charms. It was his desire for girl, which urged him to do that. He was vein, boastful. He was a man who never thought of taking responsibility to any woman. He only played with them. He was skillful to pursuit for girl like Carrie. Carrie didn't love Drouet as well. He was just a person who could help her out of hunger and cold and could buy her some beautiful clothes. No longer after she lived with Drouet as a mistress, they were out to dine, she saw a poorly dressed girl who was Carrie's workmate in that shoes factory. Carrie felt as if "some great tide had rolled between them". She felt that this was the result of their different choice. ?Maslow's theory of self-actualization that means self-fulfillment and complete realization of one's potential, is the highest of the need in his need hierarchy. In this hierarchy theory, Maslow lists a series of different needs that help a person realize his self-actualization from the lowest need for food and clothing to the higher need of security, belongingness, love, self-respect and self-fulfillment. If Carrie was a person who was satisfied with her condition, she would live in peace, but she was not that kind of person. Her desire for more beautiful clothes and luxurious things would never be satisfied. Drouet did not have the ability to satisfy her. It was doomed that when she met someone better than Drouet she would be driven by her own desire. She realized that Drouet did not want to marry her. She felt ashamed of being a mistress. She was disappointed when she knew this. Her need for belongingness and self-respect could not be satisfied. Luckily she did not love Drouet, so she would not feel hurt if she left him. ?Both of them were selfish people who only thought of themselves. ?5.The Relationship between Carrie and Hurstwood ?After being Drouet's mistress, Carrie enjoyed delicious food and beautiful clothes. But she was bound to climb higher as this is her natural personality to be never satisfied with the present. In the eyes of ordinary people, Carrie should be satisfied with her peaceful steady life. She had escaped from the lack of food and clothes. She had greater demand for her need. Drouet was successful in gaining girls who was not schooled in the art of love, but Carrie was becoming cleverer in the game of love. She knew that she was clever than Drouet. Under this condition, Carrie would change for better condition if opportunity came to her. Drouet gave her the chance. Drouet prided himself on his friendship with successful and wealthier people. He liked to show off in front of Carrie his relationship with his superior. So Hurstwood was invited to come to his home and had a good time together. When these two persons met together, two things would happen. "The first one is that Hurstwood is not attracted by Carrie's beauty because of his sense of remoteness. The second one is that Hurstwood becomes crazy because of Carrie's innocence and beauty". So there is the end of the novel. ?Hurstwood, just as Drouet, cannot get great love from Carrie. Their being together was not because of inner attraction but physical attraction. Let us take Carrie for example; she was attracted by Hurstwood's more beautiful, more elegant appearance. She thought he was a gentleman. Relying on him, she could walk into the field of the upper class .She saw new hopes of life in Hurstwood. She became cold to Drouet. When the situation changed, she found that Hurstwood was no longer strong, young and wealth. Their so-called love disappeared immediately. Carrie's mind was flooded by sensory impression of the city's material things. There was little room to be filled by the feeling of love in Carrie's mind.

?As for Hurstwood, he saw beauty, vigor and loveliness from Carrie, which kindled his desire for young ladies. At home, he couldn't get affection or love from his severe wife. To him, it was Carrie's physical appearance and innocence that attracted him. Carrie gave Hurstwood a deep impression. After they got familiar with each other, Hurstwood was determined to make her confess affection for him. He thought he saw in her drooping eyes, her unstable glance, and her waving manner. He wanted to know her feeling toward him, even though he didn't have any definite plan. He was only driven by his desire to attract young ladies he liked. After Carrie's success in that play, Hurstwood's feeling for Carrie became stronger. He considered Drouet as a throne in eyes. ?If there was love in Carrie's mind toward Hurstwood, It was weak and short. When Carrie knew that Hurstwood was a married man, she thought that she was totally deceived by Hurstwood. She didn't cry for their love. Love without any responsibility was useless and unreal. The establishment of their relationship was based on reciprocity that was Carrie would like to raise high through his wealth, status and influence. While Hurstwood was tempted by her natural beauty to make up or fill the gap of love that he lost at home. He did not want to take responsibility to marry Carrie. He wanted Carrie and his social statues that he built through his hard working. He wanted Carrie to become his mistress. ?When Hurstwood's wife knew everything, she forced him to dump into a misery situation. He had to cheat Carrie to elope with him with the stealing money. They had to live in New York with only 1000 dollars. Hurstwood had to spend their money carefully. He didn't tell Carrie their lack of money because he knew Carrie may leave him. Carrie was not that stupid who couldn't feel the change of their life. She was still a person who had an even stronger desire for luxurious things. The end of the novel had already been decided. Hurstwood couldn't fit the situation in New York and failed. He had to be support by Carrie's poor salary with which Carrie wanted to buy clothes eagerly but she couldn't. The situation lasted for a few months. She finally left Hurstwood and became a famous actress. Hurstwood begged for food and had no place to live in. When he asked Carrie for help, he felt ashamed to tell Carrie his true situation, while Carrie didn't pay much attention to him too. He finally committed suicide in a hotel with gas. ?People were so selfish. Carrie should know that Hurstwood was struggling for survival, but it seemed that she had already forgotten him. This was the lack of love. ?6. Conclusion ?As a representation of naturalistic literary writing, Dreiser gave us a living picture of that period. We have a picture of luxurious life and poor life in mind. Carrie's expression was the most significant one. He ended the novel with a scene that Carrie was rocking in her rocking chair, pondering the meaning or the meaninglessness, the importance of money. She had had everything she wanted: money, clothes, comfort, recognition, and rich men proposing marriage. But she still thought and she could not help thinking: "She must have more-a great deal more." ?