Sister Carrie was written by Theodore Deirdre in 1889 and was foremost published in Doubleday in 1900. The novel at the clip of its publication did non have enthusiastic support or rave reappraisals. It was considered an amoral narrative of a consumerist society which treated people like trade goods and really took 11 old ages to be printed. However, the importance of this novel has grown well since and it is now considered to be one of the most important classics of American Literature. It was made into a movie version called Carrie in 1952.
Sister Carrie is the narrative of a immature, 18 twelvemonth old miss, Caroline Meeber, who comes to Chicago in hunt of a hereafter and a luck. She puts up with her senior sister Minnie and her dark hubby Hanson in the beginning but shortly finds populating with them drab and unbearable. Coming from the little town of Columbia City she is swept off her pess at the flashiness that Chicago presents to her. It is unlike any other topographic point she has of all time been to. She is confronted with the consumerist facet of American society and loses herself in it wholly. She has to work at a shoe mill to gain a paltry amount of four dollars a hebdomad most of which had to be given off to her sister for her embarkation. She resents non being able to pass any of her money in purchasing apparels and places and bangles. She wishes to take a showy and high winging life, like the rich people she sees around her. But that is non to be. Her bitterness grows as does her disfavor of her sister ‘s straightened agencies and her brother-in-law ‘s unpleasant behaviour.
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Carrie finds her place indefensible after she loses her occupation and is unable to happen another one in a haste. She so establishes contact with Charlie Drouet, a adult male who she had met on the train on her journey to Chicago. Drouet was a salesman and had a loud and showy presence. He had besides seemed like a adult male of agencies and was clearly interested in Carrie. So she arranges to run into with him on the sly and after some cloak-and-dagger meetings decides to travel in with him. She leaves her sister ‘s house and leaves her a note stating that she had found separate diggingss for herself. The contemplation of the conspicuous consumerism at five de siecle America is shown by Drouet ‘s audacious show of stuff wealth and showmanship by continually purchasing Carrie gifts and promoting in her craving for the good things of life which she could ill afford at her present position.
Carrie ‘s deficiency of consideration and love for her sister besides symbolizes the degeneracy that such a consumerist society can foreground. She stays with Drouet and enjoys populating off his income in comparative comfort and gaudery boulder clay she meets Hurstwood. George Hurstwood was the director of a barroom owned by Fitzgerald and Moy. In his capacity as Manager he frequently had the chance to interact with the higher echelons of society. In comparing to Drouet who now appeared platitude and instead loutish to Carrie, Hurstwood was a more refined and understated which made his snobbism more outstanding. This seemed to be an added attractive force for Carrie and after she deceives Drouet by traveling out with Hurstwood behind his dorsum, eventually, decides to go forth him and eloped with Hurstwood.
It might be interesting to advert here that when Carrie realized that Hurstwood was really kidnaping her under false pretension, she accepted his instead feeble alibi of non being able to assist himself because he found her so attractive. The fact that Hurstwood had really abandoned his household and abandon his married woman for her did non do her feel guilty or repentant. In fact, she was rather excited at the chance of looking attractive to a adult male nevertheless immoral or fallacious. “ Still there is something in such dare and power which is intriguing to a adult female, particularly if she can be made to experience that it is all prompted by love of her ” ( Dreiser XXVIII ) .
The fraudulence of Drouet is evident as he has no purpose of truly get marrieding Carrie even though they live under false pretension of being adult male and married woman. Carrie is a typical merchandise of a consumerist society who is more into high life and keeping a facade of richness and is really rather unscrupulous. The same subject is repeated in the behaviour of Mrs. Vance who refuses to be seen with Hurstwood and Carrie one time she realizes from Hurstwood ‘s dishevelled visual aspect that they were non really rich. She has no scruple about dropping a friend for the interest of external visual aspects and resurfaces rather unashamedly to repossess her old friendly relationship with Carrie from New York when she has made a name for herself as a successful actress. She makes usage of Carrie like a trade good to derive prestigiousness in her circle of friends really much like Carrie makes usage of Minnie, Drouet and Hurstwood to mount up the societal ladder.
Another facet of the dehumanising impact that rampant consumerism can hold on society is showcased in Hurstwood ‘s behaviour towards his married woman Julia and his household. The fact that he was being unfaithful to her did non trouble oneself him every bit much as the idea that he would lose his place at work and in the eyes of his flush friends, had his matter with Carrie been discovered. Hurstwood ‘s place in his household is diminished when Julia learns the truth of his matter with Carrie and she files for a divorce and maintenance. Julia herself represents the unchecked greed for money and position in her aspirations for Jessica to get married into a rich household. She puts physical comfort and stuff additions above her girl ‘s felicity in matrimony. She feels a sense of achievement when Jessica does get married a rich adult male. None of Hurstwood ‘s kids truly care for him merely as he did non care for them and left them for a doubtful relationship with Carrie. Since all the belongings is in Julia ‘s name Hurstwood realizes that he would be left financially desiring if he had to follow through with his program of run offing with Carrie to Montreal. He stoops to stealing 10 thousand dollars from his employer ‘s vault so that Carrie and he could populate in comfort and namelessness in New York where he was on the one manus aspirant of acquiring an employment and on the other was loathe to run intoing any of his old familiarities lest they retrieve his black issue from Chicago.
In this Canis familiaris eat Canis familiaris surroundings there is no room for compassion, tenderness, peace and humanity. It is instead sad that even though Drouet and Hurstwood make love to Carrie they do non truly care for her and neither does Carrie care for any of them, though she uses them both to carry through her craving for a fast and easy life. All that affairs is the glister and the show, there is no room for echt feelings. Carrie feels sorry for Hurstwood when she by chance meets him after he has been reduced to abject poorness and donates nine dollars to him. She feels commiseration but no compunction for the adult male who had one time been such a debonair personality and who had treated her like a princess when the conditions was just.
The intervention of worlds as objects or trade goods is apparent in this novel at assorted degrees. It is ever the pattern of the chief characters in the narrative to utilize each other to derive something for their ain egos. Right from the start we see that it is outward show that counts. Carrie is impressed by Drouet ‘s brassy frock and glib talk and the same is true of Drouet who realizes that Carrie was non merely attractive but was naA?ve and would be easy to pull strings to his ain advantage. Carrie needed no great persuasion to travel in with him abandoning her sister ‘s place because of the promise of a racy life style that Drouet would be able to supply. Paradoxically, it was Hurstwood ‘s visual aspect and poise that outdid Drouet ‘s loud gustatory sensations and as Carrie found herself mounting the societal ladder steadily her spirit changed and she thought nil of the relationship she had shared with Drouet and broke free of him without much compunction. Her pretension of caring for Charlie when Hurstwood fabricated the narrative of his being hurt and in infirmary was n’t really convincing and she did n’t make much to acquire in touch with Drouet to happen out how he was making. There seemed to be no broken castanetss on either side and subsequently on in the fresh Drouet forgot Carrie ‘s abuse and went to run into her one time she had become celebrated.
It is besides singular that the first function that Carrie got as an actress was a soundless one in which what she said was non of import but how she looked was all that mattered. Work force desired her for her expressions that she invariably sought to better by purchasing apparels, places and bangles. Mrs. Vance decides to eschew the company of Hurstwood and Carrie because of external expressions that made her realize that they were non really flush and possibly it would destroy her opportunities of looking expansive if she was seen to be friends with the hapless neighbours. Carrie became interested in Ames, once more because of his outward facet and his deliberate and clannish ways. She felt that he was really civilized and a good review of her public presentation from him would be valuable. She was attracted to him because she thought of him as a great bookman whose sentiments would be weighty and non because she knew him to be a good homo being. No 1 was interested in the substance of a individual and it did non count how dissolute a individual was if merely something could be gained from tie ining with him. This propensity to utilize people as trade goods is reflected in the behaviour of all the characters.
Deriving stuff prosperity was the chief aim of societal activities, ego development and growing as a human being was unimportant. Carrie is represented like a colourful and flowery butterfly that flits from one flower to the other ne’er settling down, ne’er acquiring tired of taking advantage of people. She is cold and impersonal about her and the more successful she becomes the more distant and distant she becomes. There is no compunction or ego recrimination and she seems goaded to go on on her long and ageless hunt for something she herself does non cognize really good. There is something empty interior of her that no sum of material things could make full. She remains unsated and hardhearted, non caring and non being cared for either.
The Captain is a character that is introduced towards the terminal of the novel. He is a mendicant on the streets around whom the other homeless people hang about because he is able to broker a few coins to enable them to purchase a roof over their caputs for the dark. He assumes the function of a benevolent companion in weaponries but who really makes a spectacle of the other mendicants in order to acquire money for their care for a twenty-four hours. He exposes another aspect of the capitalist apparatus that America was in the procedure of going. He takes up the cause of the underprivileged and the deprived and shows continuity and sensitiveness in a really perverse manner. He employs all sorts of schemes so that each of the homeless people out on the streets could happen shelter each dark. He was in a unusual manner a leader of people and though his method of accomplishing his purpose was questionable he nevertheless managed to acquire for the hapless what they wanted. He exhibits the dismaying conditions and the predicament of the destitute and poverty- ridden people of the society. These unfortunate citizens who have found themselves incapable of maintaining up with this rat-race, would otherwise, most probably be ignored by the rich people. However, the parody that the Captain puts up to sell their poorness for alms is in a manner reflective of how the commoditization of people was practiced non merely in the upper categories but besides rampant in the lives of mendicants. The mendicants themselves are in such pathetic status that even though they must hold felt abashed and cringed at the idea of being made a show of, had no option but to give in to his petroleum method to hold the comfort of a roof over their caputs for a dark.
Ironically, in this narrative of rags-to-riches and the contrary we see Hurstwood as one of the captain ‘s exhibits and are moved at the predicament of this one time established and proud adult male to be reduced to this pathetic province. Even when he comes across Carrie who asks him how he was making, he is unable to state anything and feels insulted by her commiseration, but however, has to accept her largesse of nine dollars. The dehumanisation of Carrie is complete. Carrie ‘s life had come one full circle. She had come to Chicago to seek a calling and made it large in New York and had all the wealth and celebrity and doting masculine attending that she had ever wanted. On the other manus Hurstwood, who had been of comfy agencies, was reduced to servitude and despair seeking to do up to Carrie, who did non even larn about the narrative of his ultimate resignation to his deplorable destiny.
Before Hurstwood gives in to abject poorness and commits suicide he makes one last ditch attempt to work as a streetcar driver at a barn to salve some pride and eke out a support. He is forced to work even during the work stoppage and earns the repute of being a “ strikebreaker ” even though his understandings likely lie with the strikers. This illustration of a capitalist economic system is highlighted by the conversation that Hurstwood overhears “ A hapless adult male ai n’t nowhere.A You could hunger, by God, right in the streets, and at that place ai n’t most no 1 would assist you. “ A A ( Dreiser XLI ) The hapless workers are non paid their dues even though they work difficult under really arduous conditions. The lone manner they can do themselves heard in a deaf and heartless society is to form work stoppages and endanger to retreat services. The whole construction of the consumerist civilization is built on the labour of these workers but there is barely anyone who cares to portion a fraction of their luck with these people.
Throughout the novel we see this insatiate longing to purchase material things like apparels, places and bangles. There is no terminal to the greed of people in geting things that merely added more tinsel to appearance and outward show. Carrie hankers for things that money can purchase yet does non of all time experience satisfied or at peace with herself. She herself does non cognize what she is after and her full life is spent trailing this elusive something which she ne’er finds. She is surrounded by false friends and supporters with whom she neither discoveries happiness nor peace. She is doomed to be the object of other people ‘s amusement merely as she has on legion occasions used her ain friends and relations as objects to derive societal reputability.