An American Tragedy | Critical Essay by John Cowper Powys

This literature criticism consists of approximately 38 pages of analysis & critique of An American Tragedy.
This section contains 10,212 words
(approx. 35 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Joseph K. Davis

SOURCE: "The Triumph of Secularism: Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy," in Modern American Fiction: Form and Function, edited by Thomas Daniel Young, Louisiana State University Press, 1989, pp. 93-117..

In the following essay, Davis argues that both Clyde and Roberta are victims of American culture, which creates in its citizens an insatiable desire for material things rather than nurturance for their souls.

In 1900, in his first novel, Sister Carrie, Theodore Dreiser shows the impact of the modern city upon the lives of his major characters. Twenty-five years later, in An American Tragedy, he broadens his theme to comprehend the influence upon individuals of all aspects of American civilization. An American Tragedy is emphatically Dreiser's critique of civilization in the United States.1 Underscored in this critique is how contemporary American civilization distorts values, twists the patterns of individual growth, and...

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This section contains 10,212 words
(approx. 35 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by David Guest