A Study of the Interpersonal Relationships in Sister Carrie毕业论文
1. Introduction 1
2. Demonstration 3
2.1 The Material Relations Among Families 3
2.1.1 Carrie and Her Sister Minnie 3
2.1.2 Hurstwood and His Children 5
2.2 The Utilitarian Relations Among Lovers 7
2.2.1 Carrier and Husrtwood 7
2.2.2 Hurstwood and His Wife Julia 9
2.3 The Distorted Relations Among Friends 11
2.3.1 Hurstwood and Drouet 11
2.3.2 Carrie and Mrs. Vance 13
3. Conclusion 15
Works Cited 17
A Study of the Interpersonal Relationships in Sister Carrie
Theodore Dreiser is one of the greatest realistic writers in America. Bored in a poor family of Indiana State, he learned reading by himself. When he was 15 years old, he left his home for Chicago. And like those characters of his books, he wanted to acquire wealth and status to achieve his dream. To make a living in Chicago, he worked as a laundryman, dishwasher, salesman and etc. When he was 18 years old he was financed by a teacher so as to study in Indiana State University, but after one year due to lack of money he discontinued his studies returning to Chicago. He continually engaged in all kinds of work so as to accumulate rich materials for his later writing. In 1892, Dreiser worked as a journalist, successively working at the Chicago Globe and the Republic. From then on, he began his writing. In 1900, he published his first work, Sister Carrie.
Sister Carrie portrays a girl who comes from an isolated village entering Chicago to start her business and life, and finally she becomes a famous star. In order to obtain the recognition of people, Carrie successively becomes mistresses of Drouet and Hurstwood and she takes advantage of their money and power as well as her efforts becoming a big star in American theatrical circle. The writing background of this novel is exactly people’s life condition in the process of American industrialization, “including the bribing of politicians, the overriding of other people’s property rights, the overcapitalizing stocks, and even blackmail” (Gammel 155). At that time, after the United States ending the civil war, the political environment became stable and economy rapidly developed so that industrialization and urbanization reached an unprecedented level. Americans began to realize that to get further development they must have a great deal consumptive activity. To a great extent, these changes have great influence on people’s traditional culture and life. Consumption ideology emphasizes cost and material possessions weakening the traditional moral standard. The possession for material is no longer the basic life needs but the symbol of status. Therefore, in the choice of material and ethics people gradually prefer the former.
The publishing of Sister Carrie triggers huge controversies among literates. This book firstly was refused by publishers and then in order to be published, its title was changed. Critics have various opinions about this book. On the one hand, someone hold the opinion that the book brings energy to dreary America. Sister Carrie indeed brings new thinking to those people chasing their America dream，but on the other hand some people think the book promotes immoral behaviors. Sister Carrie, the main character, didn’t feel any shame of being a mistress but even gained success in her career. The woman is certainly not welcomed among people and its author is criticized by no accident. Through the depiction of Carrie, Dreiser with his sharp pen completely changed the optimistic tone of American literature. From the bottom of America and with his own experience he restores a real American society to us. Scholars at home and abroad have carried on many discussions and studies about the novel. Domestic monograph for Dreiser’s work was not very abundant; the Dreiser Research of Jiang Daochao and Dreiser Comments Connection of Long Wenpei both can be regarded as representatives. After the 1990s, the research papers and monographs at home for Sister Carrie begin to increase. Some scholars have opened up new angles. Especially exploring the environmental influence for people have achieved rich results.