Theodore Dreiser, an outstanding American novelist is a pioneer of naturalism in American literature. Dreiser wrote novels reflecting his mechanistic view of life, a concept that held humanity as the victim of such ungovernable forces as economics, biology, society, and even chance. In his works, conventional morality is unimportant, virtuous behaviour has little to do with material success and happiness. He played an important role in introducing a new realism into American fiction.
Dreiser was born in 1871 into a large and poor family. His education was irregular. After working as a journalist on several newspapers, in 1894 he went to New York City, where he began a career in publishing, eventually rising to the presidency of a publishing house.
His first novel, Sister Carrie (1900) is the story of a country girl's rise to material success first as the mistress of a wealthy man and then as an actress. It horrified its publisher, and he gave it only limited circulation. Dreiser distributed it himself, but it was consistently attacked as immoral. Jennie Gerhardt (1911), again about a 'fallen woman,' met with a better response; its success allowed Dreiser to work as a writer full time. With these two works, Dreiser started his long battle for the right of the novelist to portray life as he sees it. In The Financier (1912), he turned his attention more specifically to American social and economic institutions. This novel, the first of a trilogy that includes The Titan (1914) and The Stoic (1947), describes the rise to power of a ruthless industrialist. In both The Genius (1915) and in The Bulwark (1946), Dreiser explores the failings of an American artist. An American Tragedy (1925), often considered his greatest work, tells of a poor young man's futile effort to achieve social and financial success; the attempt ends in his execution for murder.
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Из пособия "ЕГЭ. Английский язык.
Устные темы" Занина Е.Л. (2010, 272с.) - Part
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