Sister Carrie (Enriched Classics)

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9781416561491: Sister Carrie (Enriched Classics)

Carrie Meeber leaves her home in rural Wisconsin for big-city life in Chicago, and faces a series of struggles -- professional, moral, and romantic -- before achieving success in the New York theater scene.

THIS ENRICHED CLASSIC EDITION INCLUDES:

  • A concise introduction that gives the reader important
  • background information
  • A chronology of the author's life and work
  • A timeline of significant events that provides the book's
  • historical context
  • An outline of key themes and plot points to guide the reader's
  • own interpretations
  • Detailed explanatory notes
  • Critical analysis, including contemporary and modern
  • perspectives on the work
  • Discussion questions to promote lively classroom and book
  • group interaction
  • A list of recommended related books and films to broaden
  • the reader's experience

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

Review:

Sister Carrie, Theodore Dreiser's revolutionary first novel, was published in 1900--sort of. The story of Carrie Meeber, an 18-year-old country girl who moves to Chicago and becomes a kept woman, was strong stuff at the turn of the century, and what Dreiser's wary publisher released was a highly expurgated version. Times change, and we now have a restored "author's cut" of Sister Carrie that shows how truly ahead of his time Dreiser was. First and foremost, he has written an astute, nonmoralizing account of a woman and her limited options in late-19th-century America. That's impressive in and of itself, but Dreiser doesn't stop there. Digging deeply into the psychological underpinnings of his characters, he gives us people who are often strangers to themselves, drifting numbly until fate pushes them on a path they can later neither defend nor even remember choosing.

Dreiser's story unfolds in the measured cadences of an earlier era. This sometimes works brilliantly as we follow the choices, small and large, that lead some characters to doom and others to glory. On the other hand, the middle chapters--of which there are many--do drag somewhat, even when one appreciates Dreiser's intentions. If you can make it through the sagging midsection, however, you'll be rewarded by Sister Carrie's last 150 pages, which depict the harrowing downward spiral of one of the book's central characters. Here Dreiser portrays with brutal power how the wrong decision--or lack of decision--can lay waste to a life. --Rebecca Gleason

From the Publisher:

Theodore Dreiser had a hardscrabble youth and the years of newspaper work behind him when he began his first novel, Sister Carrie, the story of a beautiful Midwestern girl who makes it big in New York City. Published by Doubleday in 1900, it gained a reputation as a shocker, for Dreiser had dared to give the public a heroine whose "cosmopolitan standard of virtue" brings her from Wisconsin, with four dollars in her purse, to a suite at the Waldorf and glittering fame as an actress. With Sister Carrie, the original manuscript of which is in the New York Public Library collections, Dreiser told a tale not "sufficiently delicate" for many of its first readers and critics, but which is now universally recognized as one of the greatest and most influential American novels.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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