From Attachment to Independence---- On Carrie’s Growth in Sister Carrie毕业论文_英语毕业论文

From Attachment to Independence—- On Carrie’s Growth in Sister Carrie毕业论文

2021-04-07更新

摘 要

《嘉莉妹妹》是二十世纪美国著名小说家西奥多·德莱塞的第一部经典作品,该小说刚问世时备受争议。西奥多·德莱塞运用他特有的写作手法,将《嘉莉妹妹》以一种巧妙且出人意料的方式为读者讲述了一则女性成长的故事。其内容因有悖于美国当时社会的主流思想,众人对此书褒贬不一。与此同时,正是由于作者独特的思想,《嘉莉妹妹》时至今日仍颇具影响力,并成为众多文学爱好者的研究对象。

本文旨在分析西奥多·德莱塞的著名小说《嘉莉妹妹》中女主人公嘉莉的成长。深入探讨小说中导致嘉莉成长变化的多重因素如何使之从一个生活在父权社会和资本主义社会双重压迫下的女性转变成一个心智独立的新女性,从而让读者进一步了解《嘉莉妹妹》这部作品中蕴含的女性独立意识以及女性主义思想。

关键词:西奥多·德莱塞;《嘉莉妹妹》;嘉莉;成长;

Contents

  1. Introduction————————————————————————————1
  2. Demonstration———————————————————————————3

2.1 Carrie under the double oppression of patriarchy and capitalism———————3

2.1.1 Oppression from male characters——————————————————-4

2.1.2 Oppression from the capitalist society————————————————–5

2.2 Factors leading to Carrie’s growth——————————————————–7

2.2.1 Carrie’s material desires——————————————————————7

2.2.2 Carrie’s spiritual desires——————————————————————8

2.2.3 Carrie’s disappointment to her failed love———————————————9

2.2.4 Carrie’s inspiration and encouragement from her female sisterhood————-10

2.3 Manifestation of the growth of Carrie—————————————————11

2.3.1 Changes in Carrie’s appearance——————————————————–11

2.3.2 Changes in Carrie’s personality——————————————————–12

2.3.3 Changes in Carrie’s thoughts———————————————————–13

2.3.4 Changes in Carrie’s identity————————————————————14

2.4 Significance of Carrie’s growth———————————————————-14

2.4.1 Carrie’s achieving her physical independence—————————————14

2.4.2 Carrie’s achieving her financial independence—————————————15

2.4.3 Carrie’s realizing her spiritual independence—————————————-16

3. Conclusion————————————————————————————16

Works Cited ————————————————————————————-18

Bibliography ————————————————————————————19

From Attachment to Independence

—- On Carrie’s Growth in Sister Carrie

  1. Introduction

Theodore Dreiser (1871-1945) was one of the most important American writers at the turn of the 19th and 20th century. He pioneers the naturalist school and is known for portraying characters whose value lies not in their moral code. Instead, their value lies in their determination against all obstacles. Dreiser was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, and lived in a strict Catholic family. Theodore, the twelfth of thirteen children, had a hard time during his childhood. From 1889 to 1890, Theodore attended Indiana University before dropping out. He had made his own living at the age of 15 and came to Chicago alone. At the same time, he was attracted by the excitement of life in this big city. Within several years, he was writing for the Chicago Globe Newspaper and then the St. Louis Globe-Democrat. After nearly a decade of success in journalism, Dreiser focused on literary creation and created lots of outstanding literary works, which brought him prestigious reputation. The rich experiences of life and the unique cognition of naturalism endows Dreiser with a sharp and profound social perspective. The stories of his novels are close to the lives of ordinary people, and full of passion for life. Dreiser composed his first novel, Sister Carrie, in 1900. It was for the naturalism reflected in this novel that he became well known. He also wrote other well-known works, such as An American Tragedy (1925), The Financier (1912), Jennie Gerhardt (1911), and so on. Among them, An American Tragedy marks the new achievement of Dreiser’s naturalism, and it makes him become famous all over the world.

His first novel Sister Carrier was a masterpiece and it was regarded as a mirror of America at that time. In the novel, Dreiser truthfully portrays the social and economic problems of his time. It was reasonable enough to be the key point in the 20th-century America on the basis of naturalism, the betrayal of the “New Woman” and the tint of rebelling character, which did not only influence Dreiser’s contemporaries, but also the later generations in the field of literature. (Lin 172) Sister Carrie tells a story of the heroine Carrie, an ordinary rural girl, coming to the big city Chicago to find happiness. In order to get rid of poverty, she cohabitates with a canvasser named Charles H. Drouet and a hotel manager named George W. Hurstwood. With the help of them, Carrie accidentally becomes a success as an actress. However, in the end, she grows up as an independent, rebellious woman for her hope for men is shattered. This novel, as a distinctive naturalist one, is a truthful reflection of the American life when it is in a great social transformation. By the life experience of Carrie, Dreiser exposes the cruelty of the US capitalist system to the poor people and the erosive function of the bourgeois lifestyle to the petty bourgeoisie.

Since its publication in 1900, it has attracted great attention of critics. The novel has been called one of the best powerful naturalistic novels by some famous novelists and critics. The Defenders points out that Sister Carrie is true, sharp, and it is a document with historical values in the history of the United States. In the early days of the publication of Sister Carrie, foreign public opinions on this book can be divided into two major schools. On the one hand, the supporters regard Sister Carrie as a great American novel, and they generally affirm the artistic status of Sister Carrie. However, the opponents are generally repugnant to Sister Carrie. Carroll, the critic of this school, regards Sister Carrie as the novel of moral decay and demoralization. As time passes by, people gradually change their views. Many scholars have discussed feminism reflected in the novel. The feminist movement (1880-1920) firstly brings the concept of New Woman to stage. As the historian Barbara Welter describes: “True women were expected to be pious, pure, domestic and submissive.” (Welter 156) Smith-Rosenberg puts forward that “the feminine revolt was creating tension and confusion and challenging the masculine paradigm.” (Smith-Rosenberg 245). Since the translation of Sister Carrie into Chinese, the book has received extensive attention from Chinese scholars. Chinese scholars’ discussions on Sister Carrie are mainly concentrated on the moral evaluation of the protagonist Carrie, Carrie’s pursuit of material things, and the evaluation of feminism. Professor Gao Yufen analyzes the aspect of Carrie’s insatiable desires through her relationships with three men, which helps arouse readers’ considerations over the view of life in Dreiser’s naturalism. (Gao 85)

Since the reinterpretation of the novel from the perspective of women’s growth, especially in the case of mental growth is relatively few, I decide to analyze this novel from this perspective. This thesis aims to analyze the growth of Carrie in Theodore Dreiser’s famous novel Sister Carrie, that is, her transformation from a woman who lives under the patriarchal and capitalist oppression to a mentally independent one, by analyzing the multiple factors leading to her growth.

The thesis consists of three parts. The first part introduces the author’s life experiences and his works, the plot of Sister Carrie and literature review both at home and abroad. The second part focuses on discussing the growth and changes of the heroine Carrie reflected in the novel mainly from four perspectives, namely, the backgrounds, the factors, the manifestation, and the significance of Carrie’s growth. The third part concludes the great literary achievements of Sister Carrie and its huge influences on people. In short, different from most researches on Sister Carrie, this thesis reinterprets Theodore Dreiser’s classic literary work Sister Carrie from the perspective of female growth. The thesis discusses in details that how Carrie eventually fulfills her growth and achieves her independence through her own efforts and the influences of characters around her, so that readers can have a better understanding of Sister Carrie.

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