Please describe the city of New York as it is potrayed by Dreiser in the novel "Sister Carrie" in detail.
Jessica Pope | Certified Educator
Dreiser portrays New York City as a place of opportunity. Sister Carrie dreams of making it big in the world, and she feels that she can't do that while living in the small midwestern town in which she was born. The opportunities for financial and social advancement attract Sister Carrie to New York. Dreiser writes about the New York theater and socialite scene. These aspects of the city appeal to Sister Carrie. However, Dreiser also shows readers the grittier side of NYC. One character becomes homeless, and joins the ranks of NY criminals. Betrayal, jealousy and bad intentions run through many of Sister Carrie's relationships. New York City is presented as a place of great opportunity but also one of great risk. Many characters become successful in the city. Others descend into madness or poverty.