An Analysis of the Tragedy of Sister Carrie from the Perspective of Consumer Culture毕业论文
2.1 A spokeswoman of consumer culture: Carrie’s insatiable pursuit of consumption-4
2.1.1 Carrie’s hedonic consumption———————————————————-4
2.1.2 Carrie’s conspicuous consumption——————————————————5
2.1.3 Carrie’s standardized consumption—————————————————–6
2.1.4 Carrie’s changes in terms of social activity——————————————–7
2.2 A victim of consumer culture: Carrie’s life influenced by consumption————-8
2.2.1 Materialized and alienated interpersonal relationship in Carrie’s life————–9
2.2.2 Carrie being a commodity in the consumptive society—————————– 10
2.2.3 The degeneration of Carrie’s American Dream————————————–10
18.104.22.168 Regarding consumption as the means to realize the American Dream———11
22.214.171.124 Carrie’s failure in achieving her happiness and her spiritual dilemma———12
An Analysis of the Tragedy of Sister Carrie from the Perspective of Consumer Culture
Theodore Dreiser (1871 — 1945) is an American novelist and journalist of the naturalist school. Dreiser was born in a German-speaking working-class family as the ninth child and led an extremely poor life when he was young. Two years before his birth, their family business went bankrupt and since then his father never recovered from that. Even worse, he usually gave vent to his frustration by abusing his children and Dreiser was included also.
Young Dreiser has to work hard and does part-time jobs to support the family. Due to the poor condition of his family, he can not receive good education. Dreiser has been a waiter washing dishes in a restaurant in Chicago, and then salesman of a company, ticket inspector at a railway station, office worker, laundryman and etc. He also witnesses how his two sisters are lured to elope with men, bring humiliation upon family. There is no doubt that all this experiences combined lay a solid foundation for his creative writing. That’s why situations about people living in the bottom are always the topics of his writing because he shares the common fate with them.
His first novel, Sister Carrie (1900) describes the life story of a rural country girl named Carrie. She succeeds in accomplishing her so-called American dream through disgraceful ways. Jennie Gerhardt (1911), Dreiser’s second novel, mainly depicts a love story between a young destitute girl called Jenny and Lester Kane, a prosperous manufacturer’s son. Due to their difference in class, they do not marry and Jenny lives alone till the end of her life, which presents the situation of disparity and injustice in American society. An American Tragedy (1925), which is Dreiser’s first commercial success, tells a story about how an ordinary young American boy bathes his hands in blood, showing the corrosion of people by money. Other works like Trilogy of Desire, composed of The Financier (1912), The Titan (1914), and The Stoic (1947) also covers similar themes. Dreiser has always kept his focus on problems like inequality, human’s desire, sexual promiscuity and etc. And this paper will draw your attention to Sister Carrie.