Posted at 01.01.2019
The defining theme of "An American Tragedy" is the entire contradiction of American dream. Dreiser has explained frequently in the book that the aspiration to go up up within culture and financially in present day America often supports the very seed products by which such wants are denied by anyone and anything. This is the unfortunate life-style for the indegent of America whom will be the most desperate to achieve a higher position within world but are however poorly outfitted and ready to accomplish that. In pursuing an improved life for himself, Clyde's activities are exactly reflected after how our society expected him to act. But by murdering Roberta, he crossed the collection in which population has created thus putting a finish to any desires or dreams of obtaining very much desired America fantasy. The story practices some stages that help connect the audience to the heroes, mainly Clyde, constantly placing focus on the inevitable situations that lead to the execution of the experiences protagonist.
Book One in this book can be considered a prelude for the reader as its' main target is on Clyde's early on childhood. The activities occurred throughout Booklet One helps place the building blocks of Clyde's future actions in both Book One and Two. As the story begins, the audience is manufactured aware of the existing social position of Clyde and his family, the Griffiths, as they preach on a busy block in Kansas. Emphasis is put how America has changed into an operating capitalist system which dominates the American lifestyle as the story begins at dusk; the time people are going back home off their place of employment. Already Dreiser has uncovered to the audience that one must work if indeed they desire to achieve a well known status in life. However, it is ironic that the citizens of Kansas City frown after the parents Asa and Elvira Griffiths as they force their children to work in such an unusual manner. Their parenting styles fluctuate greatly from one another as Asa, the father, is the more sensitive specific while Elvira has a more directed personality. Therefore, what Asa lacks when you are the more romantic dreamer, Elvira is able to stabilize the family by performing as the practical pillar of power. Clyde is more attracted to his indecisive and idealizing dad from the two. However, the desire to have religious fulfillment is replaced for materialistic property. These combinations are the heart of the novel's tragedy. Clyde's already lack of religious fulfillment later offers a huge blow as his sister, Esta, works away with a masher, a term known in the current society as a new player. The actual fact that his present state of poverty and anguish already makes Clyde questions his belief in God despite the amount of effect surrounding him. His sister jogging away to seek an improved life and ways to evade feeds Clyde's desire to take similar activities.
While attending concert halls in his area is hinting towards that life that Clyde deeply wishes, the occurrence in the pharmaceutical store is the first true pleasure of sensual and material pleasures that he suffers from. However, this all occurs in the company an immoral man, Sieberling, who spots his opportunity in taking benefit of Clyde. Clyde will sadly become a pawn for others profits throughout the book due to his desperation of upgrading the public ladder; most evident to the audience in Booklet Three when his case is twisted and used for one's politics gain. Burleigh's decision to rig the data is stunning but is the exemplory case of Dreiser's view that the strong dreams of climbing up in interpersonal position, as well concerning see justice completed, will motivate people to act corruptly; no subject how well-intentioned these are.
The preparing for Publication Two is defined by introducing a fresh identity to the book: the sibling of Asa, Samuel Griffith who possesses and operates an effective Collar Stock in Lycurgus, New York. Further, Samuel and Asa are used to help clarify Dreiser's doubling motif. That is able to be done by using specific similarities to get focus on distinctive distinctions that highlight his designs. While both of these men are brothers, the span of their lives greatly took opposite directions. Asa is impoverished, unconcerned with his appearance and deeply devoted to his desire to have religious fulfillment; Samuel, on the other hands, is a prosperous man by devoting his life to ensure a high social status within modern society. More doubling sometimes appears throughout the book that foreshadows incidents later on. Esta Griffith is the two times for Roberta Alden in Publication Two; both become pregnant before either makes a commitment through marraige. Clyde, the primary personality of the novel, has his own increase in the novel as well: Nixon, the masher. Both impregnate their sweetheart our of wedlock and forego them. However, Clyde does this in a far more drastic and fatal manner.
The main environment that occurs in Publication Two is at a city called Lycurgus. New York is well known for naming some of its places after historical Rome. However, alternatively than discussing a location, the most widely known Lycurgus from ancient times was a Spartan lawmaker who helped bring order and reform to his militaristic city (Lycurgan Reforms). This is ironic in the sense that Clyde will be brought to upstate NY where he will face his last judgment in the hands of others.
Book Two opens in the same way to Publication One as it presents the Samuel Griffiths family. The foundation of which the home of Samuel Griffith is organised upon strict guidelines and codes. Unlike the house owned by Asa Griffith, that very base is determined by expectations placed by culture and of their public status, not some spiritual uplift. While it is clear to the audience that Samuel sincerely cares for his immediate family, Samuel Griffiths' major matter is his well-being in his business and budget. That is reveled to the reader when Samuel chooses to check out the factory first alternatively than heading home to be able to get his work swept up and up at this point. Additionally it is made clear as Samuel determines to promote Clyde; not out of sympathy for his brother's boy, but because of the fact that questions can be raised as to the social status of his own child, Gilbert, as they show several physical similarities. Again, it is made evident to the audience that Samuel is more worried about business and his immediate family than Clyde's well-being even though Clyde is his own nephew. Lastly, Samuel is determined to treat Clyde as another regular employee that works for his manufacturing plant completely disregarding that truth that they're relatives. Samuel feels in the worthiness of the rigid course system which such something supersedes blood relations (Mescallado). Money is considered to be very difficult to accomplish but Samuel thinks that in doing this, you can be enriched not only fiscally, but emotionally and spiritually as well (Mescallado). Knowing that, Samuel has a perception system that drives his life as strongly as Asa's religious beliefs drives his own. And even though each man is separated by distinctive perception systems, Dreiser introduces a new character in the novel that meets anywhere in the center of the two.
Titus Alden, Roberta's dad, makes for an interesting comparison to the other two fathers in the novel, Samuel and Asa Griffiths. Titus satisfies somewhere in between Asa, the dissipated dreamer, and Samuel, the intense and strict entrepreneur. He has neither the quality of Samuel's business deal with or Asa's religious impulses, led each of the brothers down his own journey. Instead, Titus appears to take a path already lay out by him by indigenous tradition and does not any varieties of alternatives to the. However, this insufficient personality and eagerness to do something different also offers a kind of strength, as his unquestioning perception in traditional moral worth provides clear instruction for how he should go about his life (Mescallado). However, his principles and moral substantially change at the surprise that his daughter died at the hands of Clyde. His only goal is to then seek revenge and bring those accountable, namely Clyde, to justice. And although Clyde has genuine emotions for Roberta at the beginning of their romantic relationship, it all changes when Clyde discovers that he is much better off choosing another lady of a high social status in hopes of obtaining his own selfish profits.
Clyde initially loves the secrecy of his love between him and Roberta and, because of this, he's blinded to the truth on how many people are actually aware of his actions regarding Roberta. This will likely prove to be fatal for Clyde as he's ignorant to think that no traces can be linked to his relationship with Roberta let alone her death. But when viewed through Roberta's perspective, she is completely frightened at the secrecy of the romance, constantly paranoid of being discovered and exposed to the general public. Considering of what happens to her, both being pregnant and her loss of life, it's very understandable to the origins of this fear. Roberta still remains true to her worth despite her fear of getting rid of Clyde as she'll not sin by saying to attend chapel when she has learned full well that you won't happen nor will she spend the night time with Clyde when they meet outside of town. However, her morals are little by little shattered by Clyde who presents her to dance. It's ironic in the fact that at a certain point in Book Two, Clyde was the uninitiated children who didn't know how to dance and had to be taught by a far more proficient, yet less moral, person.
Clyde's fortitude with Roberta grows up weary and would like to exploit her emotions for him by any means necessary. Because of this, he has started to transform into a persona such as his former mate, Hortense; he does not show indications of interest until he his "favors" are achieved. But rather than seeking materialistic property such as what Hortense performed to Clyde, he seeks sexual pleasures from Roberta. However, Clyde's manipulations techniques are also as understated as Hortense. He convinces Roberta into leave the Newtons the several rules and boundaries enforced after her. Now that she is no longer under any constraints from the Newtons, Clyde tries to persuade her to look even further given that the opportunity, a chance he helped result in, is available. The teens stay ignorant to cover and the consequences that come without it and thus resulting in the being pregnant of Roberta. Now by this time around, Clyde is also discovering another female that goes by the name of Sondra Finchly. Clyde chooses to leave Lycurgus and discover a remedy to Roberta's being pregnant. The reader is currently made very much alert to how much Clyde prices keeping the his romance with Roberta a magic formula for if expression should get out, it might ruin his chances with Sondra. When he forgets to get instructions for the treatments purchased outside of town shows precisely how little he cares for Roberta and her situation. He looks for for an instant fix and the process through which it goes does not matter to him as long as the outcome is the fact that Roberta is no longer pregnant with his child and is set clear of her carry.
Clyde's refusal to escape possible record from the police force displays how desperately he needs both Sondra's love and the raised class status it brings
Political self-interest disguises itself as sympathy as Sondra isn't called as the explanation for Clyde decision on murdering Roberta. However, this luxury seems to only apply to the wealthy and those high in the public ladder as Roberta's name is made general population without hesitation as well as Clyde's immediate family. It's very ironic in Clyde's notoriety as the one think to the murder of Roberta as it earns him the popularity and it bestows upon him a kind of recognition but not the one which he desired. Like a nationally famous criminal, a suspected killer, he assumes a twisted but quite enhanced stature in the public eye. Roberta was allowed by Clyde to pass away in the lack so that he might in a position to finally achieve that status he so needs. So in a way, the advertising attention given to him is the success he attained.