[ Download ] Sister CarrieAuthor Theodore Dreiser – Sharkmotorcyclehelmets.co.uk

10 thoughts on “Sister Carrie

  1. says:

    Theodore Dreiser s Sister Carrie was the first real book I ve ever read in English I was 11, my mother just bought me a brand spanking new English dictionary, and my school librarians finally let me roam the section of the library where normally kids were not allowed to wreck havoc in on their own Awed by the idea of a big book in a language I just started to somewhat understand, I reached for it, just missing the much age appropriate Treasure Island but then why d you think I d ever want to follow rules Needless to say, the combination of Dreiser being way over my head, my limited English skills and only so much patience an 11 year old would have with a dictionary, I soon enough started getting distracted by the afternoon episodes of Duck Tales, and therefore my memory of this book has long been just a bit fuzzy.And so I read it again with a set of grown up eyeballs, sans dictionary this time, armed with a few gray hairs all twenty of them and a hint of a wrinkle When a girl leaves her home at eighteen, she does one of two things Either she falls into saving hands and becomes better, or she rapidly assumes the cosmopolitan standard of virtue and becomes worse This book was quite scandalous for its times vulgar, immoral, risqu It was ready to shake up the moral standards of its time with the unacceptable storyline a young poor provincial woman Carrie Meeber comes to Chicago, gets disillusioned with honest overworked poverty, and before you know it, shacks up with first one man, then another a married one, at that , and far from being suitably punished for such an immoral approach to life becomes a successful celebrated actress rolling in riches Sordid, indeed It s the American Dream shown in all its dirty unattractiveness, nothing covered up by the gilded pretentiousness of class correctness and faux piety, with the scathing understanding of the evils of desolate hopeless poverty Dreiser does not hold back, casually telling it how it is, without any preachiness or squeamishness Sordid, indeed She knew that out in Chicago this very day the same factory chamber was full of poor homely clad girls working in long lines at clattering machines that at noon they would eat a miserable lunch in a half hour that Saturday they would gather, as they had when she was one of them, and accept the small pay for work a hundred times harder than she was now doing Oh, it was so easy now The world was so rosy and bright Dreiser does not cut his heroine any slack There are no illusions about the personality of Carrie Meeber She has no redeeming qualities of excessive piety, unearthly compassion, admirable selflessness, exceptional kindness, awe inspiring talent She instead is a moderately talented, practical and a bit selfish young woman longing for the beauty of life which to her quite circumscribed middle class mind consists of comfortable life in pretty clothes and beautiful apartment, surrounded by everything that glitters but is not necessarily gold Dreiser s descriptions of her mind and ambitions are frequently quite scathing Self interest with her was high, but not strong It was, nevertheless, her guiding characteristic And yet she was interested in her charms, quick to understand the keener pleasures of life, ambitious to gain in material things Her imagination trod a very narrow round, always winding up at points which concerned money, looks, clothes, or enjoyment And yet Carrie does not need idealization or overwrought characterization to feel so real and alive through the pages of Dreiser s novel And, unlike her almost contemporaries Anna Karenina, Edna Pontellier and Emma Bovary, Carrie does not pay the price of death for daring to live the life that does not conform to the pre defined ideal instead, she thrives even if it in Dreiser s wistful vision does not live up to any high standards Know, then, that for you is neither surfeit nor content In your rocking chair, by your window dreaming, shall you long, alone In your rocking chair, by your window, shall you dream such happiness as you may never feel A woman without much agency, drifting on the waves of life that happen to take her into the direction of richness and fame This was an accusation flung at Carrie from time to time But consider that Carrie was never expected to have any agency whatsoever, instead expected to fulfill her role in society either as a pretty decoration or a choiceless drudge and her refusal to accept these choices to me spells out enough agency to cause many a frown on the critics faces in the early 1900s.Not an ideal woman No, of course But the rebellious, tenacious even if simple personality of Carrie Meeber just highlights the ridiculousness of the ideal itself meek, docile, forever understanding, endlessly supportive, quietly content She will paddle out no matter into which depths you throw her to drown, regardless of what means she has to use Besides Carrie, it s not the pathetic figures of her suitors, Drouet and Hurstwood, that are at the center of the novel No, it s the idea of a big city Chicago and New York in the world just shaking off the confines of small towns in the agricultural society, the allure of fast life, of industry, of loud sounds and bright colors and frenzy of crowds of people, all in the several square miles of the vortex of human life, so beckoning and yet so coldly cruel The city has its cunning wiles, no less than the infinitely smaller and human tempter There are large forces which allure with all the soulfulness of expression possible in the most cultured human The gleam of a thousand lights is often as effective as the persuasive light in a wooing and fascinating eye Half the undoing of the unsophisticated and natural mind is accomplished by forces wholly superhuman A blare of sound, a roar of life, a vast array of human hives, appeal to the astonished senses in equivocal terms The city beckons and seduces, but refuses to nurture those it attracts Carrie is left on her own, to fend for herself, to make her way in life or rather, to drift on the waves of the stubborn stream of life, busy paddling along and trying not to drown And so in Dreiser s description you can t help but feel both the alluring call and the warning caution of the fascinating world, still so new in those times, so fresh, so dangerous and so inevitable There was something about this book from over a century ago that continued to speak to me through the years, to fascinate me, to make me think and feel and experience things it needed me to And I loved it for all of that 4 stars.

  2. says:

    I can t believe I am actually trying to read this again This is an oft flung book, which has fair aerodynamics and, the hardcover copy of which makes a satisfying thunk as it hits the wall.

  3. says:

    Book Review 3 out of 5 stars to Sister Carrie, one of the greatest American novels of true realistic cum naturalistic tone, published in its final form in 1900 by Theodore Dreiser Some of my favorite literature comes from this time period in American history Writers took extreme liberties with creating the most realistic point of view and portrayal of characters who were living the American dream, or at least attempting to All details were painfully described when it came to what was going on in their lives It wasn t about how you brush your teeth from left to right, but it certainly came close Feelings were clear Words were prolific It was less about the plot and drama, the shock and the surprise, but about how people felt and interpreted all the actions around them People wanted to know what was going on all over the city, the country and the world Authors delivered In this book, Carrie and her family, loved ones and friends, face all the experiences thrown at you when you become an adult How you make decision How you spend your day It shows thru comparison and contrast what happened versus what could have happened While I normally love this approach, this one was a tad bit dry for me I enjoyed it thoroughly, but it was just a good book I didn t feel connected to it as much as everyone else at the time But if you want to know how things were during the 1870s 1890s in American life, this book will show you About Me For those new to me or my reviews here s the scoop I read A LOT I write A LOT And now I blog A LOT First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at where you ll also find TV Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I ve visited all over the world And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who what when where and my pictures Leave a comment and let me know what you think Vote in the poll and ratings Thanks for stopping by.

  4. says:

    High school read Recall it being extremely well written albeit quite depressing need to re read

  5. says:

    When a girl leaves her home at eighteen, she does one of two things Either she falls into saving hands and becomes better, or she rapidly assumes the cosmopolitan standard of virtue and becomes worse. That I prioritized Sister Carrie over at least fifty other books high on the ever expanding tbr list can be imputed to a matter of false advertising The blurb hails Carrie as a modern woman in American fiction, a first of her kind think Kate Chopin s The Awakening released just a year prior to this A heroine who may have plummeted to the depths of social and moral ignominy and eventually died or killed herself, following the inexorably harsh laws governing fallen women in literature, had she not achieved independent success in the end And as a woman I am interested in categorizing male authors according to their handling of women characters Sue me Yet contrary to what indicated by the deceptive title, the book features very little of the eponymous heroine s trajectory often deviating to chronicle the narrative arcs of her lovers who, by turns, unwittingly aid and thwart her In fact this is as much about Carrie Meeber s rise to prominence as a Broadway actress as it is about Hurstwood s downward spiral into eventual vagrancy and death on the streets of New York a slow and gradual process which makes for a terrifying, bone chilling spectacle and, for a while, threatens to steal the limelight from Carrie s growth story in entirety In the sunshine of the morning, beneath the wide, blue heavens, with a fresh wind astir, what fears, except the most desperate, can find a harbourage In the night, or the gloomy chambers of the day, fears and misgivings wax strong, but out in the sunlight there is, for a time, cessation even of the terror of death. That a male author condemned a male character to a fate of complete but uneventful ruination while simultaneously elevating a woman to a position of significance in society is a literary feat worthy of applause And yet something about this book leaves one unsatisfied, a little deceived, a little cheated, with a distinct feeling of isn t there She wanted pleasure, she wanted position, and yet she was confused as to what these things might be Every hour the kaleidoscope of human affairs threw a new lustre upon something, and therewith it became for her the desired the all. Carrie never acts out of her own conviction in any goals, always, inevitably letting circumstances coerce her into action when all other avenues which allow her to maintain a glamorous, hassle free existence have been exhausted She lets desperation be her guide instead of some soul hunger yes I am still suffering from a Middlemarch hangover or a conscious desire for personal liberty She is also never proactive in pursuing love, only ever responding to the advances of those who express romantic interest Carrie s awakening is shown to be in its initial stages, never attaining maturation And this is why I can t help but prefer assertive Edna over dilly dallying, uncertain, easily swayed by another s opinion Carrie The pitfalls of a lack of narrative focus and the structurally awkward, dry, doctor s prescription like prose notwithstanding, the novel has its redeeming facets Dreiser s gift for character analysis is astonishing With surgical precision he exposes the motivation at work behind every action and thought As a consequence, the inner lives of all the characters are brilliantly replicated for the reader s benefit In addition, the novel seems like a mild indictment of the fatal lure of the big city with its frenetically paced industrial hubs, jam packed shopping districts and flourishing neighborhoods, the deceptive grandeur with its promise of wealth and social relevance to the starry eyed, penniless newcomer that remains only ever that a promise Not all women are as lucky as Carrie, pretty enough to attract the attentions of rich men, willing to fund her wardrobe and house her, and eventually the stage Ah, she was in the walled city now Its splendid gates had opened, admitting her from a cold, dreary outside She seemed a creature afar off like every other celebrity he had known. That Carrie was created by a male novelist in 1900 remains an impressive fact though For that, I doff my hat..erhairband to you, Mr Dreiser ____P.S From the desultory tone of my review and its utter lacklustreness you can probably infer how underwhelming I found the book.

  6. says:

    , , 1890 Dreiser , , Sister Carrie , , , , , , Dreiser 1890 1900, 4.5

  7. says:

    This is a classic that I could read over and over again What a story If you haven t read it, you should The story not only captures the reader into the story, it gives you a deep sense of mans crazy nature I just finished reading this one again I first read it 7 years ago, and felt is was time to try it again Dreiser really speaks to my soul Oh Carrie, Carrie Oh blind strivings of the human heart Onward onward, it saith, and where beauty leads, there it follows Whether it be the tinkle of a lone sheep bell o er some quiet landscape, or the glimmer of beauty in sylvan places, or the show of soul in some passing eye, the heart knows and makes answer, following It is when the feet weary and hope seems vain that the heartaches and the longing arises Know, then, that for you it is neither surfeit nor content In your rocking chair, by your window dreaming, shall you long, alone In your rocking chair, by your window, shall you dream such happiness as you may never feel To me this books speaks deeply I must always warn myself against such blind strivings of the human heart Focus on what is important Our longings will tell us we want something that we do not have, but the truth is there if we realize itif we do not want, we will have everything Happiness is a state of mind, not a circumstance Anyway I could go on and on, but I ll spare you my soap box.

  8. says:

    I listened to the Blackstone Audiobook which came out Nov 18, 2005 It is not registered here at GR There are two versions of Theodore Dreiser s book The original Doubleday Edition was published in 1900 This, the original, was in fact edited by his wife It has 47 chapters It was considered easily accessible to the public the harsh message of new American Naturalism softened The Blackstone audiobook uses this version 80 years later, the Pennsylvania Edition of the book came out It restored what had been cut or altered in the original version It has 50 chapters It is considered harsher in tone Having not read the Pennsylvania Edition , I am unable to comment on that What I can say is that the Doubleday Edition used by Blackstone is dark too It takes a good hard look at human behavior It is fully realistic I think it magnificently portrays both human behavior and the reality of life in the 1890s of America as the nation moved from an agrarian existence toward urbanization The book focuses on three people Carrie Meeber actress , Charles Drouet salesman and George Hurstwood familyman ,manager Three very different people Each of these three is explored in depth Their lives are intertwined, yet each chooses a different course to follow Do we choose, or are we just unable to be other than ourselves Life is hard for all three This is a book that portrays reality This book lies at the forefront of American Naturalism Here is the gritty truth For me each character was himself through and through, from start to finish Wonderful character portrayal There is no humor You don t need it in this book.Magnificent dialog Do you like the works of Edward Hopper You know you often look through a large window out into another world, be it a bar or a landscape or whatever There is clarity to what you see Sharp and clear and you watch That is exactly how Dreiser s book affects me..but through words The audiobook narration by C.M Hebert was totally magnificent Perfect in all ways speed, tone, intonations Feelings are expressed A voice quavers, another is jolly One has confidence Each voice fit the character, the dialog, the words This book is not just about one woman and her determination to make her own life It is also about what that demands What are the consequences How do we go after a goal with dignity And Carrie is no sure of herself than you or I We are also given two others Drouet and Hurstwood I found them equally interesting I really, really liked this book.

  9. says:

    In the words of Edmund Wilson, Dreiser commands our respect but the truth is he writes so badly that it is almost impossible to read him Sister Carrie is a bad book Not morally bad, unfortunately That at least would make it interesting In that respect, nothing in this book would be out of place in a Progressive lecture on social purity This line from the first page sets the tone When a girl leaves her home at eighteen, she does one of two things Either she falls into saving hands and becomes better, or she rapidly assumes the cosmopolitan standard of virtue and becomes worse Why anyone bothered to censor something this priggish is beyond me No, I mean Sister Carrie is simply bad writing Dreiser never shows if he can tell, and he never tells if he can grandiloquesce Dreiser s characters are clich s None ever has a fully formed, let alone interesting, thought they limit themselves to dim impressions of either the obvious or the implausible I am not sure that it is possible for a real human being to be as boring as these characters In large part, I blame the boredom on Dreiser s evident belief that the common type of mind 340 is merely a bundle of instincts and impressions This common type apparently can t think for herself, so Dreiser s narrator has to do all the thinking for her Humans are not actually like that.In any case, Dreiser s prose is unpardonable I marked down a few examples As a result, a train of gossip was set going which moved about the house in that secret manner common to gossip 131 In short, for the time being he walked in a lighter atmosphere and saw all things through a rosy medium It might have been said of him, under these circumstances, that he was truly in love 132 As he undid his collar and unfastened his studs preparatory to washing his face and changing his clothes, he dilated upon his trip 135 Oh, the drag of the culmination of the wearisome How it delays, sapping the heart until it is dry 140.I gave up on page 345 of the Penguin edition, with 154 pages to go.

  10. says:

    I returned to this book after nearly two decades away and I found it as juicy and engrossing as ever.I ll be the first to acknowledge that, as stylists go, Dreiser is among the least accomplished of major American novelists Maybe only John O Hara compares, if he s even still considered a major author Dreiser s word choice is no precise than that of a Ouija board, his sentences as vibrant as chewed galoshes But reading Dreiser for his wordsmithery is like visiting Casablanca for the waters, or buying Playboy for the articles it rather misses the point Similarly, Dreiser often relies upon too easy a plot devicethe open safe in Sister Carrie, the identical initials in An American Tragedy, etc. So I acknowledge all of that at the outset and still think this holds its own as a masterpiece than a century after publication Sister Carrie is brilliant because few if any authors can capture atmosphere or character as well as Dreiser, and in this novel, he is at his wisest and most perceptive Who but Dreiser could capture the silent oppression of Minnie Hanson s flat, the fragile coexistence that defines Hurstwood s domestic life, the befuddled romantic gamesmanship of Drouet It s all too easy to dismiss this work as a period piece or an historical artifact, when a reader willing to take the novel on its own terms will find a deeply insightful examination of human foibles and fantasies This one is a classic for a reason

When A Girl Leaves Her Home At Eighteen, She Does One Of Two Things Either She Falls Into Saving Hands And Becomes Better, Or She Rapidly Assumes The Cosmopolitan Standard Of Virtue And Becomes Worse The Tale Of Carrie Meeber S Rise To Stardom In The Theatre And George Hurstwood S Slow Decline Captures The Twin Poles Of Exuberance And Exhaustion In Modern City Life As Never Before The Premier Example Of American Naturalism, Dreiser S Remarkable First Novel Has Deeply Influenced Such Key Writers As William Faulkner, F Scott Fitzgerald, Saul Bellow, And Joyce Carol Oates This Edition Uses The Text, Which Is Regarded As The Author S Final Version