By Martin Bucco
Known as the most effective writers at the American scene, Dreiser can also be referred to as one of many world's top worst writers, with claims that he's an impurist with not anything yet genius. This tale, instructed in grotesque aspect and with dependable realism, recounts the dilemmas and offerings of a ''loser''; we watch him ascend to temptation, fall in transgression, and obtain his acceptable penance.
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But inoculated by the "virus" of evangelism, she joined in her husband's religious adventures to illusory greener fields. Before Kansas City, Denver, and San Francisco, the Griffithses had conducted missions or preached in the streets of Grand Rapids, Detroit, Milwaukee, Quincy, and Chicago. Like her husband, Elvira is ignorant of their children's need for practical or professional training. In spite of her pains, this extreme Protestant remains optimistic. She tries to solve family problems and professional difficulties through her prayers.
With regard to his feelings for Miss X, he was powerless; as for Roberta, he tried to love her again--but could not. Through his various narrative techniques, Dreiser balances psychological and objective detail. Having documented the first day of the jury selection, the narrator begins this trial section with this almost stagelike direction: "And then five entire days consumed by Mason and Belknap in selecting ajury. " Some testimony shocks the reader as well as Clyde--for example, that the Gilpins knew more regarding Clyde and Roberta than either suspected, and that the chambermaid at Grass Lake remembered Clyde's camera and tripod; such withheld information creates dramatic tension.
How does Hortense fail Clyde? How does Rita? Roberta? Sondra? 15. Analyze Dreiser's style. What are its strong and weak points? 16. With respect to probability, how does Dreiser establish the likelihood of events occurring which would be most unlikely in ordinary life? Which would be likely in ordinary life but not in fiction? com 17. How does An American Tragedy achieve its greatest moments of tension? 18. What are the advantages and the disadvantages of Dreiser's omniscient point of view? 19.
An American Tragedy by Martin Bucco