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Study Guide

An American Tragedy Study Guide & Plot Summary

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 697 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our An American Tragedy Study Guide

Plot Summary

Book 1

An American Tragedy opens on a summer evening in Kansas City, Missouri, in the early years of the twentieth century. Dreiser introduces twelve-year-old Clyde Griffiths along with his family: his father, Asa, and mother, Elvira, poor evangelists who run a mission in a shabby part of the city; and his two sisters and one brother. From the beginning, Clyde is antagonistic toward his parents' beliefs and activities. He is entranced by the material world that his parents shun. As a teenager, Clyde gets a series of jobs in increasingly glamorous settings - from street corner (as a newsboy) to department store basement to drugstore to upscale hotel - that take him farther and farther from his parents' dingy life. All the while, Clyde daydreams about his rich Uncle Samuel who owns a factory in Lycurgus, New York.

In his bellhop job at the Hotel Green-Davidson, Clyde makes...

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This section contains 697 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our An American Tragedy Study Guide
Copyrights
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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