Theodore Dreiser was an old man when he joined the
communist Party of America. It was in July 1945. His whole life
had been a preparation for that step and a hard life it had
been, too !
He was born in the family of a strict Catholic, narrow
-- minded and despotic. It was because of his farther that he
hated religion to the end of his days. His parents were not
rich. When 16 years of age, he left home to earn his living
in Chicago, which at that time was growing into a big city.
All seemed wonderful to the young lad. He managed to get a job,
but it paid only five dollars a week, besides it was not
what he wanted. He was eager to study. At last he was
admitted to the University. Yet a year later he left it
because of financial difficulties. It was in those days that he
to write for newspapers. But it was not so easy to become a
newsman. He had to call at the offices many times before he got
some work .
In 1900 his first novel “ Sister Carrie ” appeared and
was immediately withdrawn from print by the publisher. The author
was severly attacked by critics. The novel was pronounced
Dreiser could not long get over the failure of his
first literary attempt. Only after a lapse of nearly 10 years
in 1911 he published his “ Jennie Gerhardt ” , also the life
story of girl. This book likewise received a hostile reception
due to alleged immorality. Dreiser was boycotted by publishers.
Three of his works , ” The Financier “ (1912), “ The Titan ”
(1914) and “ The Stoic ” ( which was published only after the
wri ters death in 1947 ), give the whole life story of an
capitalist, showing the ways in which the wealth of big
capitalists is made. “ The Genius ” (1915) tells of the fate
of an artist in the bourgeois world.
He described his visit to the USSR in “ Dreiser Looks at
Russia ” (1928) .
Besides the works mentioned above, Dreiser also published
several collections of short stories.
Dreiser literary work occupies an important place in
American critical realism. His novels and short stories give a
true picture of American society and its influence upon the
life of the people.
“ The Financier ”, “ The Titan ” , and “ The Stoic ”
compose “ The Trilogy of Desire ” . Its purpose was to show
the ways and practices of American big business at the turn of
the 20-th century .
Frank Cowperwood - a chief character of all the three
novels is a representative of a big business. “ The Financier ”
gives a broad panorama of American social life. Cowperwood
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