An American Tragedy | Critical Essay by Paul A. Orlov

This literature criticism consists of approximately 31 pages of analysis & critique of An American Tragedy.
This section contains 9,135 words
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Critical Essay by Paul A. Orlov

SOURCE: "The Subversion of the Self: Anti-Naturalistic Crux in An American Tragedy," in Modern Fiction Studies, Vol. 23, No. 3, Autumn, 1977, pp. 457-72.

In the following essay, Orlov posits that, despite Dreiser's well-known devotion to literary naturalism, An American Tragedy is actually anti-naturalistic in its treatment of the idea of the individual.

Various critics have pointed out that Dreiser's fiction does not consistently conform to techniques and beliefs common to naturalism (which the literary histories have traditionally assumed to be fundamental to Dreiser or even the only reason for discussing him); his fiction, according to these critics, reveals characteristics in the mode of transcendentalism as well as humanism.1 Criticism of An American Tragedy, liberated from the assumption that the work is a mere naturalistic depiction of man objectively viewed as a helpless victim of heredity and environment, has begun to...

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This section contains 9,135 words
(approx. 31 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Paul A. Orlov