An American Tragedy by Theodore Dreiser

1834 Words Jan 27th, 2018 7 Pages
Though the specifics have evolved over time, and it is unique to each person, the general idea has stayed the same: become rich, retire early, own a large home and high- quality items. In the book, An American Tragedy, main character Clyde Griffiths is one of many who pine for the American dream, wanting “ . . . the fine clothes, the handsome homes, the watches, rings, pins that someboys sported . . . ” (Dreiser 19) and a high class social status- not to mention the benefits that coincide with being high class.. However, regardless of how much Griffiths dreamed his dream, he was never to achieve it. Throughout An American Tragedy, the sentiment that Clyde Griffiths was not meant to live the American Dream echoed numerous times in how he was raised, the era in which the novel is set, and the unique personality which clearly defined his character. A huge factor which determined the plot of the book was the method by which Griffiths was raised. In the first five chapters of An American Tragedy, Clyde’s home life is portrayed. Griffiths was a young boy who was born into a low- class family, and whose life centered on Evangelical teaching. Growing up, his parents constantly barraged him with their strong religious beliefs, and enforced their morals with great force and conviction. Unfortunately, they raised Clyde by using the authoritarian parenting method, contributing greatly to…
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