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Study Guide

An American Tragedy - Book 3, Chapter 5 Summary & Analysis

This Study Guide consists of approximately 118 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of An American Tragedy.
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Book 3, Chapter 5 Summary

Orville Mason is sure that Clyde has committed the murder of Roberta Alden, but he can't find a motive until he guesses that she's pregnant, a fact confirmed by the letters found in Clyde's trunk in Lycurgus. Letters from Sondra and his mother (which allude to the crime in Kansas City and which continue to urge him on a path of goodness) all convince Mason of the evil nature of Clyde. He is perceived as being part of the rich upper class and provides the perfect motive for the crime.

Book 3, Chapter 5 Analysis

Mason wants to prosecute Clyde, not just for his crime, but for the fact that he's supposedly richer and wealthier. It's an irony, since Clyde is NOT rich and wealthy but living in an image he perpetuates. What Clyde has longed to be all his life will now work against him.

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This section contains 148 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Purchase our An American Tragedy Study Guide
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An American Tragedy from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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