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Study Guide

An American Tragedy Essay | Critical Essay #1

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.
This section contains 1,497 words
(approx. 5 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay #1

Norvell is an independent writer who specializes in literature. In this essay, Norvell argues that Dreiser's own life is perhaps the strongest argument against his worldview as expressed in his novel.

The worldview that Dreiser sets forth in An American Tragedy is the deterministic view that a person's fate is sealed from birth, determined by his or her particular heredity and environment in tandem with the animal instincts that affect all humans. This philosophical and literary view is based on the observation of Charles Darwin and other scientists that only those animals that are born with attributes that make them well-suited to their environment are able to survive and thrive. This idea is often referred to as "the survival of the fittest."

Hence, Clyde Griffiths and Roberta Alden are destined to fail in their attempts to better themselves economically and socially. Born poor and powerless, they will die...

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This section contains 1,497 words
(approx. 5 pages 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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