Theodore Dreiser: Sister Carrie

(1515 words)
  • Jude Davies (University of Winchester)

When Caroline Meeber boarded the afternoon train for Chicago, her total outfit consisted of a small trunk, a cheap imitation alligator-skin satchel, a small lunch in a paper box, and a yellow leather snap purse, containing her ticket, a scrap of paper with her sister's address in Van Buren Street, and four dollars in money. It was in August, 1889. She was eighteen years of age, bright, timid, and full of the illusions of ignorance and youth.

Sister Carrie intertwines two narratives of social mobility; one upward and the other downward. Carrie Meeber ends up ensconced in the Waldorf Hotel, while her lover George Hurstwood is buried in Potter's Field. These two are the novel's primary …

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Davies, Jude. "Sister Carrie". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 August 2001
[, accessed 02 July 2015.]