Posted at 01.10.2018
Theodor Dreiser had written his book "Sister Carrie" in 1900. This book became a very successful debut of him. Besides he laid down all the major topics that were also shown in his following novels.
"Sister Carrie" was called the normal American novel. The main character types and their testimonies illustrated the effect that the changes in the financial situation in the united states made upon American modern culture and culture. Caroline Meeber is one of the a large number of men and women who were seeking for any job in hard financial situation brought on by the monetary boom. She actually is unveiled into a novel in an abnormal way. She has no record and we know nothing at all about her previous life.
Capitalism affected the American society. And one of the manifestations of this effect was the strong emphasis on the conspicuous consumption. Theodor Dreiser will pay attention to every aspect: he extensively enumerates everything Carrie has with her on her appearance. He also stresses that everything is man-made, that fact would play an important role in her formation as a personality. The reader's first impression of Carrie is made by her belongings, because her thoughts, intentions and ideals are yet unknown. Dreiser ends his explanation with the precise amount of cash Carrie provides with her. To any extent further the emphasis of the amount of money problem will be one of the primary top features of the book. As we realize later one of the Carrie's heart's needs is to accumulate money and material positions, because she firmly believes that it is the only real possible way to happiness. That s why Drouet attracts her very much. He appears to be rich, elegant and for that reason happy. This image created by Carrie's mind promises her material pleasures, nice clothing, rich life and a great many other desirable things. This is the first time when Carrie manifests her consumer's mentality that governs her relationships with other folks and her attitude towards them.
The hard monetary situation in america made the work search an ordeal for many individuals. Besides this example shows the capitalist worth of the modern culture. Employers do not treat people as personalities but check out everyone as a commodity, judging whether a man or a female corresponds to the price. Furthermore the capitalist personality of overall economy manipulates consumers and their dreams. Carrie is a stunning example. She would like beautiful things desperately, although she's no money to buy everything she needs. She is constantly frustrated by the shortcoming to buy things that are necessary for life. Which dreadful poverty makes her miserable.
So she is drawn by Drouet who appears to have no issues that don't let Carrie be happy. Drouet is represented as a symbol of the new financial structure. They can be called a commodification of a living being. He is not a consumer, he sell things to other folks. Carrie is an productive consumer in the heart and soul of hearts, so she longs to be close to wealth and success. It isn't problematic for her to comprehend that having a nice face she get men's attention. She understands that men treat women as product. And she will not mind to sell herself in order to get everything she wishes. She is also eager to join the world of consumerism as it offers her many pleasures and joys. She throws herself into Drouet's hands, who is apparently so nice and nice buying her new clothes and providing money. Relationships between women and men are shown from the consumerist aspect: men can buy women, and women do not subject to be bought at all. Consumer mentality governs even intimate relation between people. Carrie desperately wants to get money. Time hadn't come on her behalf to comprehend that money only is worth of nothing. She still believes that if she could buy everything she'd haven't any problems. Carrie is not offered as an only dropped woman who should be condemned by a reader. She is among the many other women who acquired no choice during those times. Or at least they thought that there is no other way to them.
Hurstwood is a man from another world, the world of rich people and rich life. He's a capitalist. He must be happy in his life as from the first viewpoint he has everything an unhealthy man or woman (such as Carrie) may want: beautiful partner, which is his proud in the eye of the friends and neighbors, educated and smart children, who'll enrich their riches after their marriages. Hurstwood made a good job and his position brings him a good profit. So what is the reason to his unhappiness, asks Theodor Dreiser. What occurred to the person who cannot delight in the rich life? The answer is apparently not difficult whatsoever. There is no limit to someone's consumer wants. Carrie is poor and she need it pretty clothes and also have money for her simple entertainments, while Hurstwood's wife suffering aren't less than Carrie's, because she cannot afford herself an expensive resort tour. Unsatisfied desire is the bottom for all your troubles: all the members of the buyer society are not content with what they have, everybody wants to have more. No matter how much cash you curently have the idea that someone has more do not let people sleep. So Carrie would like to access the world of George Hurstwood, but his partner and daughter want to get access to the higher circle of the richer people.
Hurstwood's partner Julia is unhappy in her matrimony. She cannot stand the position of the woman who is controlled by her spouse, the positioning of the girl who is possessed by a guy and is advised what to do and where to go. Hurstwood really snacks his wife as his possession and enjoys the theory that he can show her as one of his stuff as a manifestation of his prosperity. But their marriage was also predicated on the consumerist principle: Hurstwood hitched her and for that reason let her type in his abundant world, while Julia sold him the exclusive right to have her body in his possession. That actually happened to Carrie when she accepted Drouet's courting and agreed to have intimate relations with him. So Mrs. Hurstwood realizes that having actually sold herself to a man she made a blunder. Relationship bonds burden her, she is suffering from the shortcoming to do what she desires to. Carrie also suffers, however the reasons of her sufferings are quite opposite: she feels humiliated needing to pretend that she actually is Douet's partner, while she actually is not. She sees salvation in the matrimony bonds while Julia Hurstwood desires to eliminate them. Still neither Carrie nor Julia get satisfaction after reaching their goals. Julia Hurstwood continues to be jealous and irritated that her partner kept her. Carrie cannot find satisfaction in relationship to Hurstwood, especially when he stops to give her money for any her entertainments. This example illustrates that consumerist view of life affects every sphere of life.
Carrie's matrimony to George Hurstwood is actually a consumerist deed. She will not think about her thoughts towards him. She just will try to anticipate whether it would bring her any income or not. Having counted that Hurstwood has more potential that Drouet, she does not hesitate to produce a decision at once: Drouet is necessary no more. Theodore Dreiser explains to us nothing about love between them. After George Hurstwood proposes Carrie to stay with him, she will not plunge into continuous discusses love or any other emotions between them. She considers only kiss to be adequate to signal a consumerist agreement between them. She actually sells herself for the next time to another man. Carrie's computations aren't difficult: Hurstwood has money; he can be handy for her. The only problem is that her computations aren't very distant: she will not expect that George Hurstwood stole the amount of money from his company and has to return them in order to avoid general population scandal. Carrie handles to make a career of your actress. She begins doing good money. While Carrie does a success and is becoming more and more popular, Hurstwood is declining - not only in material aspect, but also in the internal one. So he presents consumer interest for Carrie forget about. He has no money and can provide her nothing. Her desires and needs expand every day on a high speed. She would like to socialize with abundant women, who do not want to learn her, because her man is not in his top form any more. Carrie is ashamed of Hurstwood, she does not want this feeling prevent her from coming into the higher circles of the wealthy society. So there is a decision of the condition: Hurstwood did what he had to and really should be displaced from Carrie's successful and happy life.
Carrie reaches the riches she desired so much. But to her great wonder she does not become more pleased than she was before. She's rich clothes, so much than she does not even have time and energy to wear them all; she has a great deal of admirers, nevertheless they follow her not because she actually is a superb personality as she'd like to believe but because she represents an extremely nice commodity they would like to purchase. Still attention of many men is captivated by Carrie's high price she managed to establish on her behalf nice face and vacant soul. Neither her success nor attractiveness give mental and moral pleasure for everything she will. Being already a rich woman she is still as unpleasant as she was when she got nothing to consume and twenty us dollars distributed by Drouet could make her the happiest woman in the world. She is an impersonalized representative of the world of wealthy people. In this esteem the contrast between abundant and poor people is emphasized by the captain. He is a man, who does not have any home and lives in the pub. Each day he gathers the other the indegent around him and along they make an effort to spend per day of their life. They beg for food and some money. Halting numerous pedestrians he handles to accumulate money for a night in a cheap shelter for each and every one of them. He continues in his begging until every man has a location to sleep that night time. This character symbolizes the dehumanized life of poor people, their needy situation. He is also a personification of human being kindness, love for neighbor in the middle of the huge city where it is rather difficult to maintain human emotions and feel charity. Not only does he ask for money, but he will try to earn it doing everything he is able to - engaging people, making performances for them. He's an professional as Carrie, but their purposes are different. While she is trying to slake her thirst for the money and cannot undertake it, this man manages to attain his goal every day, getting less that Carrie. He achieves his goal and can estimate the real cost of money. In the mean time Carrie got baffled: with all her money she has she can buy lots of things. She are able herself buying even love, at least love as she is aware of it. The problem is that she will not really know what can make her happy. She actually is totally confused: she considered money to be the only means that will make her happy. Now she's no goals, no items. It is difficult to inform even herself what she desires from life now.