feelings hand of those little things which the

feelings
and their situations. This links to the representation of female revolt and the
emancipation in the literature of the period, as it is a moment in the novel
where the two-male character are together without their link (Daisy) and they
discuss her being and her life. In this section, the reader becomes aware of
the conflicting views each gentleman had of Daisy, emphasising the complex
character she was.

Sister Carrie, is a story that revolves around a young
country girl, named Carrie, who moves from her small midwestern town to the big
city, carrying with her the hope of her American Dream. Similarly, to Daisy Miller, Sister Carrie is centralised
around the main female character (Carrie Meeber) and the two male characters
with her interest (Charles H. Drouet and George W. Hurstwood). Dreiser successfully
manages to explore many themes within his novel, as well as the representation
of the female revolt and their role in society. “…She began to get the hand of
those little things which the pretty woman who has vanity invariably adopts. In
short, her knowledge of grace doubled, and with it her appearance changed, She
became a girl of considerable taste.”1
From this quote the reader can understand that Dreiser is illustrating the
momentous scene where Carrie realises she is growing up and maturing, a pivotal
moment in the novel, offering the readers insight into how it happens and the
significance. This can be linked to Simone de Beauvoir’s article, The Second Sex, where she states, “One
is not born, but rather, becomes a woman.”2
Beauvoir is suggesting that one can distinguish sex from gender and that gender
is something that is a part of an individual’s identity that is progressively developed.
Carrie is key example of this idea as she is accepting her womanhood as she
makes small gestures or actions that accentuate her femininity. This links in
with the representation of the female revolt, as whilst Carrie is not as
complex as Daisy, she still manages to accept but flaw the stereotypes of women
in the nineteenth century, she is deemed to be vainer rather than shy and
modest, like most women.  

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Within
this novel, the reader can understand that women might be the cause for their
own objectification whilst those objectifying aren’t at fault. “…Mrs. Vance’s
manner had rather stiffened under the gaze of handsome men and elegantly
dressed ladies…To stare seemed the proper and natural thing. Carrie found
herself stared at and ogled….”3
From this the reader can understand that Carrie is in a position where she is
getting used to attention from others, and is almost learning from Mrs. Vance
on how to react. Given the setting of this moment, it can be inferred that women
almost welcome the attention and criticism from others. In James D. Bloom’s, Reading the Male Gaze in Literature and
Culture: Studies in Erotic Epistemology, Claire Eby mentions how Dreiser, ‘”does
not have a single way of depicting women; nor does he concentrate on a particular
type as representative”4
this suggests that Dreiser explores all characteristics and personalities of
his female characters and tries to not single out a specific kind. In
comparison to Daisy Miller, where the
reader can see Winterbourne’s category for women. Again, this links in with the
representation of women through another character’s perception and how they
challenged the conventions at the time.

Another
thing that readers can understand from Sister
Carrie, is that the theme of class and society can play a role in the
representation of females. “It was an important thing to hear one so well-positioned
and powerful speaking in this manner…Here was this greatest mystery, the man of
money and affairs sitting beside her, appealing to her.”5
With the readers knowledge of Carrie’s many desires, more specifically to fulfil
her desire for riches and success, it is clear that she received a fair amount
of warning about materialistic things never amounting to happiness. However,
with this in mind, the reader can see that Carrie still wishes to achieve her
goals, linking to her American Dream, and believes that being in a position of
wealth and power will lead her to a much happier lifestyle. This can be linked
to the representation of female revolt as it explores the idea of materialism, society,
and class, as wealth is often associated with people of a higher-class and
social ranking.

Likewise,
to Daisy Miller, Sister Carrie
includes two male characters who have the interest of Carrie. Each are very
different to each other, similarly to Winterbourne and Giovanelli, Drouet is
portrayed as a materialist whereas Hurstwood is illustrated as a romanticist. Towards
the end of the novel, it is clear that both men loved Carrie deeply but were
unsuccessful at keeping her happy and satisfied. Given that Drouet is heavily
focused on the finer things in life this allowed him to move on from Carrie easily,
whereas Hurstwood, being more emotionally invested, gradually lost his wealth,
and became a homeless beggar who eventually commit suicide. Whilst both men
went through their trials and tribulations, Carrie finally achieved her
American Dream of stardom, wealth and fame but realises that they do not bring
her happiness. The reader can understand that the three pivotal characters in
the novel have a relation to the representation of female revolt and the emancipation
of literature in the period as they explore the theme of love, class and
society, and femininity.

There
are many similarities and differences between the two texts examined in this
essay. Both Daisy Miller and Sister Carrie have a similar character
list of two males to one female, involved in the storyline and competing for
the female character’s heart. As well as this, both explore the themes of
society and class and the role of women.

1 Page 74 https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=fGSjEpqOkO4C=frontcover=sister+carrie=en=X=0ahUKEwjfmrDovdnYAhWHDcAKHbAgBuYQ6AEIKTAA#v=onepage=She%20looked%20in%20the%20mirror%20and%20pursed%20up%20her%20lips%2C%20accompanying%20it%20with%20a%20little%20toss%20of%20the%20head%2C%20as%20she%20had%20seen%20the%20railroad%20treasurer’s%20daughter%20do.&f=false

2 https://www.jstor.org/stable/2930225?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents

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4 Page 76-77
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=2M04DwAAQBAJ&pg=PA77&lpg=PA77&dq=noticed+suddenly+that+Mrs.+Vance%27s+manner+had+rather+stiffened+under+the+gaze+of+handsome+men+and+elegantly+dressed+ladies,+whose+glances+were+not+modified+by+any+rules+of+propriety.+To+stare+seemed+the+proper+and+natural+thing.+Carrie+found+herself+stared+at+and+ogled.+Men+in+flawless+top-coats,+high+hats,+and+silver-headed+walking+sticks+elbowed+near+and+looked+too+often+into+conscious+eyes.&source=bl&ots=oOJuqtYcVC&sig=mJi9g9OwXrjLYaafHgjujfUNFq4&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjct_S7w9nYAhVBBMAKHXx_AkQQ6AEIMzAD#v=onepage&q=noticed%20suddenly%20that%20Mrs.%20Vance’s%20manner%20had%20rather%20stiffened%20under%20the%20gaze%20of%20handsome%20men%20and%20elegantly%20dressed%20ladies%2C%20whose%20glances%20were%20not%20modified%20by%20any%20rules%20of%20propriety.%20To%20stare%20seemed%20the%20proper%20and%20natural%20thing.%20Carrie%20found%20herself%20stared%20at%20and%20ogled.%20Men%20in%20flawless%20top-coats%2C%20high%20hats%2C%20and%20silver-headed%20walking%20sticks%20elbowed%20near%20and%20looked%20too%20often%20into%20conscious%20eyes.=false

 

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