By Martin Bucco
Known as the most effective writers at the American scene, Dreiser is additionally referred to as one of many world's top worst writers, with claims that he's an impurist with not anything yet genius. This tale, instructed in grotesque element and with loyal realism, recounts the dilemmas and offerings of a "loser"; we watch him ascend to temptation, fall in transgression, and obtain his applicable penance.
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Extra resources for An American Tragedy (Cliffs Notes)
Analyzes Dreiser's art and the problem of Clyde's identity.
In short, Clyde does not want to die, and he cannot understand why McMillan did not lie to save him. Clyde prays to God to let him live but is dubious about the quality of his newfound peace. After Clyde's death, doubts assail McMillan; but, strong in her faith, Elvira Griffiths prays for the soul of her son and tries to visualize him in the arms of his Maker. With slight variations, the "Souvenir" section repeats the novel's opening section, showing the continuing nature of the social tragedy.
In contrast to his once expensive suits and hats, Number 77221 now wears a striped uniform and a hideous cap. No mirror in his cell reflects this indignity. In his final hour, Clyde is furnished felt slippers, gray socks, black trousers, and--irony of ironies--a white shirt without a collar. Throughout An American Tragedy, Dreiser has dramatized the failure of religion to guide Clyde over the hazardous terrain of modern American life. Nowhere is this failure more dramatized than in this section.