Forgot your password?  

An American Tragedy Summary
Theodore Dreiser

Everything you need to understand or teach An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser.

  • An American Tragedy Summary & Study Guide
  • 17 Literature Criticism
  • ...and more
  • 30 An American Tragedy Lessons
  • 20 Activities
  • 180 Multiple Choice Questions
  • 60 Short Essay Questions
  • 20 Essay Questions
  • Pre-Made Tests and Quizzes
  • ...and more

An American Tragedy Summary


Theodore Dreiser's massive novel An American Tragedy was published in December 1925 in two volumes. Coming in the middle of Dreiser's long career, it was the first novel to earn him fame and wealth, though not the first to be controversial.

An American Tragedy is a detailed portrayal of the dark side of the American Dream—the story of what can happen when an ordinary man's desire for wealth and status overwhelms his moral sense. Dreiser built the novel around a real-life crime after spending years researching incidents in which men murdered women with whom they had been romantically involved but who had become inconvenient for one reason or another (often because of an unwanted pregnancy, as in the novel). Dreiser chose as his starting point the case of Chester Gillette, who drowned his pregnant girlfriend in a New York lake in 1906. Like the novel's Clyde Griffiths, Chester Gillette...

(read more from the Study Guide)

Study Pack

The An American Tragedy Study Pack contains about 471 pages of study material in 24 products, including:

An American Tragedy Study Guide

Lesson Plan

All teaching products sold separately.

An American Tragedy Lesson Plans contain 128 pages of teaching material, including:

Follow Us on Facebook
You might also be interested in: