Sister Carrie shocked the public when Doubleday, Page and Company published it in 1900. In fact, it was so controversial, it almost missed being printed […]

Theodore Dreiser

Theodore Dreiser was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, on August 27, 1871. Dreiser’s father, John Paul, fled to America from Germany to avoid the draft. […]

Plot Summary

A Part I Sister Carrie opens in 1889 with eighteen-year-old Caroline Meeber on her way from her small hometown to the big city of Chicago. […]


A Bob Ames Carrie meets Bob Ames at Mrs. Vance’s. Ames has a high forehead and a rather large nose, but Carrie finds him handsome. […]


A American Dream Each of Dreiser’s characters in Sister Carrie search for their own “American Dreams”-the ones offered by a growing and prosperous democratic country. […]


A Point of View Dreiser uses a third person omniscient point of view to tell the story of his heroine, Carrie. Through this point of […]

Historical Perspective

A Late-Nineteenth-Century Industrialism The United States experienced a huge growth in manufacturing in the late 1800s that resulted in prosperity for many but virtual poverty […]


Andrew Delbanco notes in his introduction to the 1999 Modern Library Edition of Sister Carrie that “Carrie’s fate … has been set in motion … […]

Compare and Contrast

Late 1800s: Women’s fashions favor Victorian styles. Dress indicates a woman’s status. Upper- and middle-class women wear constrictive underclothing (corsets), high-heeled shoes, and elaborate, vividly […]