By Martin Bucco
Known as the best writers at the American scene, Dreiser is usually known as one of many world's most sensible worst writers, with claims that he's an impurist with not anything yet genius. This tale, informed in ugly element and with dependable realism, recounts the dilemmas and offerings of a "loser"; we watch him ascend to temptation, fall in transgression, and obtain his acceptable penance.
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Extra info for An American Tragedy (Cliffs Notes)
6. Discuss Dreiser's variations on clock time. 7. What is the meaning of Clyde's several nightmares? 8. What is the relationship between Clyde's differing views of Roberta and Sondra? 9. Describe the role of Asa Griffiths in terms of the narrative. Is his effect on Clyde more or less significant than that of his wife? 10. How do films influence Clyde? 11. Does Clyde change during the long course of this novel? 12. How does the Reverend McMillan contribute to Clyde's death? 13. Discuss the east-west theme in An American Tragedy.
Eager for victory and fame, he believes in seizing the main chance. Knowing that the strong more often than not crush the weak, Mason is determined to be strong. Certainly he means to conquer those whose boyhoods were less toilsome than his. Like Clyde, Mason's early poverty and neglect serve as a spur to his ambition. The son of a poor farmer, he early set aside childish things and helped his widowed mother. At seventeen, he began reporting for newspapers in the region, and at nineteen began law studies in the Bridgeburg office of a former judge.
In the beginning, Sondra's interest in Clyde is not real, only a device to irritate Gilbert Griffiths. Furthermore, if harm seems headed her way, she plans to drop Clyde quickly. To deceive both Gilbert and her parents, Sondra uses her friends as "fronts" to Clyde's entrance into her set. Once in, Clyde is the object of her pretended indifference, her teasing, and her flirting. Feeling herself drawn toward him, she nevertheless keeps him as behaved and leashed as her French bulldog, Bissell, by impressing him with luxuries, by handing him money on the sly, by warning him of her parents' disapproval, and by conjuring up a picture of matrimonial and executive bliss.
An American Tragedy (Cliffs Notes) by Martin Bucco