Consumer Culture in Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie

Helen Ouliaei Nia, Fatemeh Torki Baghbaderani


Heodore Dreiser, the American novelist (1871-1945), was a keen witness of the huge industrial changes in America. Dreiser minutely portrayed the lives of the poor in society because he had experienced poverty both as a child and an adult and he could also depict the lives of the rich as he was a journalist who was in everyday contact with the facts of such people’s life. In one of his novels, Sister Carrie, Dreiser, impersonally, represents the struggles of a poor girl who finds her way up the social scale. Carrie, the protagonist of the story, lives in an industrial and commodified society in which people find their identity in items of consumption. In this article, the researchers attempt to examine the dexterity of Dreiser in portraying the inner and outer lives of characters in such a society and in the light of Baudrillard’s theory of consumerism and the way this portrait approximates real life.

Key words: Sister Carrie; Dreiser; Commodified Society; Baudrillard; Consumerism


Sister Carrie; Dreiser; Commodified Society; Baudrillard; Consumerism



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