从《美国悲剧》中看美国梦的破灭 The Broken American Dream in American Tragedy毕业论文_英语毕业论文

从《美国悲剧》中看美国梦的破灭 The Broken American Dream in American Tragedy毕业论文

2021-04-02更新

摘 要

美国梦一直是美国文学作品的一个不朽的话题, 但是在不同的时代,美国梦的涵义是不同的。 20世纪初期的美国被叫做 “爵士时代” ,这个时期的美国人崇尚奢靡,寻欢作乐的生活,每个人都极其自信,认为只要给自己一个机会,一定会出人头地,发家致富。甚至有些人为了金钱,财富和权力不择手段,背叛亲人,攀龙附凤,还有些人为了消除一切成功路上的障碍,不惜杀人灭口。德莱塞的《美国悲剧》就是在这样的背景下产生的,这部作品被认为是德莱塞最负盛名的代表作。这部作品的主人公克莱德格里菲斯从一个传教士家庭里的穷小子逐步变为一个杀人犯。本文将探讨作者西奥多德莱塞的人生经历以及《美国悲剧》是如何反映他的人生经历的,本文在分析了作品产生的社会背景之后,还将从人们的精神状态、信仰、价值观几个方面来剖析主人公克莱德的美国梦是如何从一开始的踌躇满志到最后的支离破碎。

关键词:美国梦;《美国悲剧》;爵士时代;

Abstract

American Dream has been a hot topic in American literature, which has been expressed in different ways by different writers throughout history. In 1920s, America was going through a period called Jazz Age which designated an era of ebullience, confidence, prosperity, and celebration. An American Tragedy, written by Theodore Dreiser, published in 1925, has been regarded as the most impressive novel of Dreiser and one of the most representative novel for the broken of American Dream. By this paper, the author would like to give a close view on writer’s life and how his life experiences were reflected by An American Tragedy. The American society was full of luxury, superficiality, pride and ambitions at that time which caused the tragedy. The tragedy of Clyde Griffiths was a miniature of everybody’s tragedy when people were obsessed with money, joy, social class and power.

Key words: American Dream, An American Tragedy, Jazz Age

Contents

1 Introduction 1

2 The life experiences of Theodore Dreiser 2

2.1 The family of Theodore Dreiser 2

2.2 Three books of An American Tragedy 2

3 American Dream……………………………………………………………………..4

4 The new meaning of American Dream

4.1 The process of Clyde’s degeneration 5

4.1.1 Working in a hotel 5

4.1.2 Working in his uncle’s factory 6

4.2 Reasons for the broken of American Dream

4.2.1The social background of America in the early 20th century 7

4.2.2The changing of value systems 9

5 Conclusion …………10

References…………………………………………………………………………………………………..12

Acknowledgments………………………………………………………………………………………..13

The Broken of American Dream

An American Tragedy

1 Introduction

Theodore Dreiser is a very impressive writer in the history of American literature who started to write about the real life in his novel—the injustice of society, the emptiness of people’s spirit, the competition between political parties in America at that time, and everything in his novel is true. He is the representative writer of realism of American literature. Therefore, if we want to have a good understanding of American literature, Dreiser’s works could be our good choices like Sister Carrie, An American Tragedy, Jennie Gerhardt, The Financier, The Titan and so on. An American Tragedy was his one of the most representative novel. This novel is the first novel which started to reflect the real society of America in American history of literature.
In the early time, the notion–American dream, used to encourage American people to make their dreams come true, and make them work hard for personal achievements—being rich, powerful and sociable, but as time went by, the meaning of American Dream had been changed. People were eager to get rich and powerful not by working or frugality anymore but by hook or crook. In front of money, the traditional moral ideals had been out of time, it was an era of being crazy about wealth and power, and vulgar pursuit. People were indifferent to each other; they didn’t care about each other even their families and they just wanted to please rich people from upper class, who could offer chances for money, power, and social status. They tried to become rich, powerful, influential and sociable by having a wealthy relative or a lover in the late 19th century and early 20th century when Theodore Dreiser wrote An American Tragedy which was one of his most compressed presentation of the material inequities of American culture and the forces that overwhelm those caught in it; it exhibited Dreiser’s great cumulative power as well as his stylistic garishness. This novel’s fame and plots were not new but we could see Dreiser’s great skills on making up plots. An American Dream can be seen as an encompassing vision of American society classes. The American dream had been broken actually.
As for the social development, the American economy was growing rapidly with a surging process of industrialization. American had become a country with monopoly instead of free competition, a contemporary industrialized country instead of agricultural country. When the United States went into a period of monopoly capitalism, American society was filled with money worship and social polarization, hedonism. Therefore; people were going through a challenge in the way of working and thinking. However, the majority couldn’t get used to such a change very well, they were in lost.

2 The Life Experiences of Theodore Dreiser

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