Theodore Dreiser Essays (Examples)

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Theatricality in Dreiser's Sister Carrie and Wharton's the House of Mirth

Words: 2818 Length: 10 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 68352415

Gender as Performance

Theodore Dreiser's 1900 novel Sister Carrie is in style and tone in many ways radically different from Edith harton's The House of Mirth, published just five years later. And yet there is in both works a similar core, what might be called a parallel moral, for both novels explore the ways in which gender is performative in the two societies that we learn about within the world of each novel. hile, of course, in many ways gender is what we are born with, it is also just as clearly for these two writers (as it would be for any anthropologist) part of the performance of self, the way in which each person in these books presents herself or himself both to the world at large as well as internally. Both novels allows the authors to tell a compelling story while simultaneously exploring the gender roles expected of…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Ammons, Elizabeth. Edith Wharton's Argument with America. Athens: University of Georgia Press, 1980.

Caserio, Robert L. "Edith Wharton and the Fiction of Public Commentary." Western Humanities Review 3 (40), Autumn 1986: 189-208.

Dreiser, Theodore. Sister Carrie. New York: Signet, 2000.

Elbert, Monika M. "Bourgeois Sexuality and the Gothic Plot in Wharton and Hawthorne" In Hawthorne and Women: Engendering and Expanding the Hawthorne Tradition, John L. Idol & Melinda M. Ponder (eds.). Amherst: University of Massacusetts Press, 1999: 258-270.
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Huck and Jim

Words: 665 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 16922606

Narrator

In many ways, the literary movements and philosophies of determinism and individualism are opposites of one another. Determinism is one of the facets of Naturalism, and is based on the idea that things happen due to causes and effects largely out of the control of people and that choice is ultimately an illusion. Individualism, however, is widely based on the idea of free will and the fact that people can take action to control their surroundings and their fates in life. Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie provides an excellent example of determinist literature and is based on the critical ideas of amorality and environmental factors controlling a person's fate, while Mark Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an example of individualism and illustrates the idea that a person can take action to make his or her own fate.

Dreiser's work chronicles the rise to wealth and social prominence of…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Dreiser, Theodore. Sister Carrie. www.archive.org. 1900.  http://archive.org/stream/sistercarrie01drei/sistercarrie01drei_djvu.txt 

Twain, Mark. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. www.archive.org. 1884.  http://www.archive.org/stream/adventureshuckle00twaiiala/adventureshuckle00twaiiala_djvu.txt
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Sister Carrie and a Modern Instance and

Words: 1326 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 51944668

Sister Carrie and a Modern Instance and discusses the characters geographic attempts to escape their problems. The writer compares and contrasts the stories and argues that social norms continue to follow the characters wherever they go. There were two sources used to complete this paper.

Theodore Dreiser's Sister Carrie and illiam Dean Howells' A Modern Instance are classic examples of the way people try and change their personalities and their lives by geographic changes. Both of the stories test the belief that greater mobility translates into greater freedom as well as address whether social norms follow the people or if social norms are changed in new environments.

Throughout history authors of literature have used their work to convey messages. Sometimes the message is open and blunt while at other times it is a subtle hint of idea that promotes the message. In the two classic stories of change and move…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Dreiser, Theodore. Sister Carrie.

Howell, William Dean. A Modern Instance
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Obscenity and Indecency

Words: 1591 Length: 5 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 98113954

BOOKSORE OWNER v. SAE OF INDIANA

Obscenity and Indecency

IN HE COUR OF APPEALS OF INDIANA

BOOKSORE OWNER

Appellant-Petitioner,

SAE OF INDIANA,

Appellee-Respondent.

APPEAL FROM HE S. JOSEPH SUPERIOR COUR

he Honorable John. R. Doe, Judge

MEMORANDUM DECISION -- NO FOR PUBLICAION

Student's Name, Judge

Case Summary

Petitioner bookstore owner was found by a jury to be guilty of obscenity when she sold the book he Genius, written by heodore Dreiser, to the public. Respondents argued successfully in Superior Court that the passage in question was obscene and therefore not protected by the First Amendment. Petitioner appeals the decision under the claim that the book in its entirety has redeeming social value and is therefore protected by the First Amendment.

Issues

he issues before the Court are whether the lower court erred when it allowed the passage in question to be considered obscene or not in isolation from the rest…… [Read More]

The Genius might be judged indecent by an Indiana jury but all indecent literary works are protected by the First Amendment. Zoning laws could be established to restrict access to the bookseller, but a blanket zoning restriction on any bookstore selling The Genius would likely fail constitutional muster because it would be based on a single non-obscene book rather than the whole collection.

It seems from this analysis that Indiana cannot ban or restrict the sale of The Genius. If anything, the petitioner may have sufficient cause to pursue a civil action against the state given the Supreme Court's decision in Bantam Books, Inc. v. Sullivan (1963). Whether prosecutorial misconduct took place or not is not under consideration here, but Supreme Court jurisprudence clearly restricts the power of the state to censor literary works or to indirectly harass sellers.

Given the facts before this court the petitioner's obscenity conviction is overturned.
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Real America Interestingly Enough One of the

Words: 4206 Length: 13 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 53156105

Real America?

Interestingly enough, one of the themes in the post-modernism period of American history has been the reexamination of the "real America," particularly the moral, ethical and sexual changes that have evolved since the turn of the century. This has not been a new theme, nor has it been relegated to non-fiction. At the beginning of the 20th century, American novelists were expanding the role fiction took by examining high and low life in society. Edith harton, for instance, found tremendous hypocrisy within the ranks of the Eastern elite in terms of morality and sexuality and in Sister Carrie, Theodore Dreiser portrayed a country girl who moved to the big city of Chicago to become a "kept woman," relinquishing her American morals for the pleasures of the flesh. Similarly, even in the stories of F. Scott Fitzgerald, John Dos Passos, and Ernest Hemingway there are notions and reexaminations of…… [Read More]

Works Cited

Bales, R. (2001). Social Interaction Systmes: Theory and Measurment. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.

Berthrong, J. (2004). Love, Lust and Sex- A Christian Perspective. Buddhist-Christian Studies, 24(2), 3-22.

Gosine, M. (2010). Whatever Happened to the Real America. Boston: Pearson.

Smith, J. (1996, March). The Christian View of Sex: A Time for Apologetics, not Apologies. Retrieved July 2011, from Cathlic Education Research Center: http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/sexuality/se0004.html
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Emile Zola and the Movies the Translation

Words: 4466 Length: 15 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 20910962

Emile Zola and the Movies

The translation of any work of literature into another medium, even one apparently so closely aligned with the written word as film, is always a chancy proposition. While literature and film focus themselves on the same targets within the minds of their audiences; that of completing an organic connection between the conception and the reception of an idea, the very natures of the two disciplines demand different things of the person who is reading or watching the material. As exciting and enveloping as the best film experience may be, it is still, in its essence a passive experience; every action is already determined, "painted," and set in celluloid by the filmmaker. On the other hand, literature demands much more of its audience. Even when a writer devotes paragraphs to descriptions of various characters or activities, the reader still plays an integral part in the final…… [Read More]

Bibliography

Connors M. & Craddock, J. VIDEOHOUND'S GOLDEN MOVIE RETRIEVER.

Visible Ink Publishing, Detroit, 1998.

Horton, A. & Magretta, J. MODERN EUROPEAN FILMMAKERS AND THE ART OF ADAPTATION. New York, Frederick Unger Publishing Company, 1981.

Katz, Ephraim. THE FI LM ENCYCLOPEDIA. A Perigee Book, New York, New
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Man Who Almost Was a Man by

Words: 2251 Length: 6 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 61177068

Man Who Almost Was a Man," by Richard Wright, explains how the non-literary dimension changes one's understanding of the story.

The Man Who Was Almost a Man"

Richard Wright was one of the greatest African-American writers; he was also the first African-American to have produced one of the famous novel of racism and its psychological affect on the individuals in his masterpiece "Native on." Born in 1908 in Mississippi, Wright father left the family when he was only six years old and when he was ten his mother had a paralytic stroke and was unable to work. Wright after a formal education was forced to seek employment in order to support his family. The first half of the twentieth century was a crucial period for the African-Americans, the discrimination against them had taken a different form and shape and there were little jobs available for the black people. Wright worked…… [Read More]

Sources:

Caron, TP. [1996]. "The Reds Are in the Bible Room': Political Activism and the Bible in Richard Wright's Uncle Tom's Children." Studies in American Fiction 24.

DeCoste, DM. [1998]. "To Blot It All Out: The Politics of Realism in Richard Wright's Native Son." Style 32.1.

Rampersad, A. [1995] "Introduction." Richard Wright: A Collection of Critical Essays. Ed. Arnold Rampersad. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall, 1995.

Abdul R. [1997]. Negating the Negation as a Form of Affirmation in Minority Discourse: The Construction of Richard Wright as Subject. Cultural Critique 7, 245-66.
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Development of Ideas in American Literature Since 1900

Words: 706 Length: 2 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 13497228

American Literature

The development of the major ideas and attitudes expressed in Modern American literatures since 1900 can start with the realist school of literature, which focused on representing in naturalistic terms and concepts the life of the world around. Thus, Theodore Dreiser wrote Sister Carrie about a bumpkin country girl who moves to the big city and becomes a mistress. Stehpen Crane also portrayed the street life and Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle about what it was like to work in the meat packing plants at the time and how difficult it was for immigrant life. The ideas here were focused on revealing real American life -- not in broad comedy like a Mark Twain novel -- but in serious terms.

F. Scott Fitzgerald reflected the concept of "wasted youth" and the obsession with riches and power that was all so meaningless in the greater scheme of things in…… [Read More]

References

Piercy, M. (2009). What's That Smell in the Kitchen? Poetry: A Pocket Anthology.

NY: Pearson.

Rich, A. (n..d.). Living in Sin. Retrieved from https://www.naic.edu/~gibson/poems/rich1.html
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American Lit Definition of Modernism and Three

Words: 3585 Length: 13 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 58544512

American Lit

Definition of Modernism and Three Examples

Indeed, creating a true and solid definition of modernism is exceptionally difficult, and even most of the more scholarly critical accounts of the so-called modernist movement tend to divide the category into more or less two different movements, being what is known as "high modernism," which reflected the erudition and scholarly experimentalism of Eliot, Joyce, and Pound, and the so-called "low modernism" of later American practitioners, such as William Carlos Williams. Nonetheless, despite the problems of reification involved with such a task, I will attempt to invoke a definitions of at least some traits of modernism, as culled from the Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics:

First, [in modernism] "realization" had to replace description, so that instead of copying the external world the work could render it in an image insisting on its own forms of reality... [and] Second, the poets develop…… [Read More]

Bibliography

Preminger, Alex and Brogan T.V.F. The Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics.

Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1993.
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Traditional Woman and the New

Words: 1160 Length: 4 Pages Document Type: Essay Paper #: 85828715

1080). Editha wants to turn George into someone just like herself, who shares her same passion, beliefs, and patriotism -- someone who wouldn't hesitate to go off to war. As Bellamy (1979) states, Editha's commitment to marry him is "contingent upon his enlistment" (p. 283). Unless George becomes like her, she intends to cut of her engagement to him, exhibiting power over the relationship and expressing and asserting her own ideals. Once George commits and enlists, he becomes someone Editha can idolize: "I've been thinking, and worshipping you….I've followed you every step from your old theories and opinions'" (p. 1085). In her letters she includes what "she imagined he could have wished, glorifying and supporting him" (p. 1086). What she imagines are the things she would want to hear about herself. George has become someone she would like to be.

After George's death in battle, his mother tells Editha directly…… [Read More]