Theodore Dreiser

15 Oct
Theodore Dreiser

Theodore Dreiser

Never let it be said that the folks here at De Jungle ain’t literary. Today we honor Theodore Dreiser. We had to read his novel “An American Tragedy” in high school literature class. Our teacher flattered us by thinking we’d actually read a 900+ page novel.  We amazed ourselves by actually doing it.  Actually, it wasn’t that hard, because once we got into his quirky writing style, we actually got hooked on the old boy.  Maybe you’ve seen “A Place in the Sun.” Well, that flick was based on “An American Tragedy”, but as is often the case, the book is better.

Sister Carrie is another Dreiser novel (his first in fact.) It tells the story of young Carrie Meeber, who moves to the city and becomes, though her involvement with two men, Carrie Drouet, Carrie Hurstwood, and finally as an actress takes the stage name Carrie Madenda.  The chapter titles are really quirky and cool.  The first chapter is “The Magnet Attracting – A Waif Amid Forces.”  Another is titled “We Question of Fortune – Four Fifty A Week.”  In the character of Hurstwood, this novel contains the most chilling depiction of a man psychically dying that we’ve ever read.

Dreiser may be hard to get into at first, but if you give him a chance, he’s well worth your time.


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