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An American tragedy

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An American Tragedy is the story of Clyde Griffiths, who spends his life in the desperate pursuit of success. On a deeper, more profound level, it is the masterful portrayal of the society whose values both shape Clyde's ambitions and seal his fate; it is an unsurpassed depiction of the harsh realities of American life and of the dark side of the American dream. Extraordinary in scope and power, vivid in its sense of wholesale human waste, unceasing in its rich compassion, An American Tragedy stands as Theodore Dreiser's supreme achievement. First published in 1925 and based on an actual criminal case, An American Tragedy was the inspiration for the 1951 film A Place in the Sun , which won six Academy Awards and starred Elizabeth Taylor and Montgomery Clift.
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Level 8.5, 65 Points
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Grouping Information

Grouped Work ID 6979daae-3b0f-4955-b7ac-a9cb72888d9a
Grouping Title american tragedy
Grouping Author dreiser theodore
Grouping Category book
Last Grouping Update 2019-01-20 22:55:42PM
Last Indexed 2019-01-20 23:52:35PM

Solr Details

accelerated_reader_interest_level UG
accelerated_reader_point_value 65
accelerated_reader_reading_level 8.5
auth_author2 Miller, Dan John.
author Dreiser, Theodore, 1871-1945.
author2-role Miller, Dan John., Tantor Media.
author_display Dreiser, Theodore
available_at_catalog Annex, Green Hills, Green Hills Kids, Inglewood, Looby, Southeast
collection_catalog Audiobook, Fiction
detailed_location_catalog Annex - Adult Fiction, Green Hills - Adult Audiobook, Green Hills - Adult Fiction, Inglewood - Adult Audiobook, Looby - Adult Fiction, Richland Park - Adult Audiobook, Southeast - Adult Fiction

Theodore Dreiser's An American Tragedy (1925) is nothing less than what the title holds it to be; it is the story of a weak-willed young man who is both villain and victim (the victim of a valueless, materialistic society) and someone who ultimately destroys himself. Dreiser modeled the story of Clyde Griffiths on a real-life murder that took place in 1906; a young social climber of considerable charm murdered his pregnant girlfriend to get her out of the way so that he could instead play to the affections of a rich girl who had begun to notice him.

But An American Tragedy is more than simply a powerful murder story. Dreiser pours his own dark yearnings into his character, Clyde Griffiths, as he details the young man's course through his ambitions of wealth, power, and satisfaction.

The Indiana-born Dreiser (1871-1945) has never cut a dashing or romantic swath through American literature. He has no Pulitzer or Nobel Prize to signify his importance. Yet he remains for myriad reasons: his novels are often larger than life, rugged, and defy the norms of conventional morality and organized religion. They are unapologetic in their sexual candor—in fact, outrightly frank—and challenge even modern readers. The brooding force of Dreiser's writing casts a dark shadow across American letters.

Here in An American Tragedy, Dreiser shows us the flip side of The American Dream in a gathering storm that echoes with all of the power and force of Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. Inspired by the writings of Balzac and the ideas of Spenser and Freud, Dreiser went on to become one of America's best naturalist writers. An American Tragedy is testimony to the strength of Dreiser's work: it retains all of its original intensity and force.

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id 6979daae-3b0f-4955-b7ac-a9cb72888d9a
isbn 9780451527707, 9780451531551, 9780795311512, 9780899667096, 9781452601892, 9781452621890
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lexile_score -1
literary_form Fiction
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owning_library_catalog Nashville Public Library
owning_location_catalog Annex, Green Hills, Green Hills Kids, Inglewood, Looby, Richland Park, Southeast
primary_isbn 9780451531551
publishDate 1976, 2000, 2010, 2011
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subject_facet Audiobooks, New York (State) -- Fiction, Social classes -- Fiction, Social values -- United States -- Fiction, Trials (Murder) -- Fiction, Triangles (Interpersonal relations) -- Fiction, United States -- Social life and customs -- 1865-1918 -- Fiction, Working class -- United States -- Fiction, Young men -- Fiction
title_display An American tragedy
title_full An American Tragedy, An American tragedy / Theodore Dreiser, An American tragedy / Theodore Dreiser ; with a new introduction by Richard Lingeman ; revised and updated bibliography by Richard Lingeman, An American tragedy [sound recording] / Theodore Dreiser
title_short An American tragedy
topic_facet Audiobooks, Fiction, Literature, Social classes, Social life and customs, Social values, Thriller, Trials (Murder), Triangles (Interpersonal relations), Working class, Young men