Conflict Between Individual and Society in Sister Carrie

Jingang BAI


In Sister Carrie, Dreiser drew a vivid picture of American life in the late 19th century. In this paper, the author tried to give a detailed analysis of Carrie’s rise and Hurstwood’s fall, and pointed out the description of all these things indicated that there was a conflict between individual and society that, to Carrie, she wanted to leave countryside for big cities for a better life through her own effort, but couldn’t refuse the help and attraction from others in materialistic society so that she lost herself, and, to Hurstwood, he was also honest to his desire and left for a big city to begin a new life with Carrie, but he couldn’t adapt himself to the environment where everyone couldn’t escape the law of jungle that the weak was the prey of the strong. In the end, life was so hard for him that he had no choice but commit suicide to escape the reality.


Sister Carrie; Theodore Dreiser Conflict

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