An American Tragedy | Critical Essay by Lee Clark Mitchell

This literature criticism consists of approximately 35 pages of analysis & critique of An American Tragedy.
This section contains 10,368 words
(approx. 35 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Lee Clark Mitchell

SOURCE: "The Psychopoetics of Desire in Dreiser's American Tragedy," in Determined Fictions: American Literary Naturalism, Columbia University Press, 1989, pp. 55-74

In the following essay, Mitchell examines An American Tragedy as a deterministic novel in which repetition forces the characters to submit to events beyond their control.

The death of Roberta Alden forms the dramatic crisis of An American Tragedy. Having journeyed to Big Bittern Lake with the intention of drowning her, Clyde Griffiths recoils from the act itself. Only her impulse to rise up and touch him impels him to strike out in thoughtless resistance, then to rise up himself to her aid in a series of movements that capsize their boat.

And the left wale of the boat as it turned, striking Roberta on the head as she sank and then rose for the first time, her frantic, contorted face turned to Clyde...

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This section contains 10,368 words
(approx. 35 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Lee Clark Mitchell
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Literature Criticism Series
Critical Essay by Lee Clark Mitchell from Literature Criticism Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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