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Student Sample Essay


You can look at the student samples below as possible models as you begin working on your own essays. Note that these samples are not "perfect" (whatever that may mean), nor are they meant to be, but they advance an interesting thesis, support their argument with sufficient evidence and research, and are generally well written. ---- Thank you to your fellow students for allowing us to have a glimpse at their work!


Edith Wharton's Defense of Women in "The Other Two"


In "The Other Two," Edith Wharton cleverly builds a defense for modern women who avail themselves of opportunities for social and material advancement. Wharton can only successfully build this defense by telling the story of Alice Waythorn through her third husband's eyes. Through Waythorn's narrative, Wharton shows that, in order to advance, women pay the price by denying their own identity and becoming a reflection of the men in their life.

Wharton begins her defense by first showing that Alice is an aspiring woman who is unfortunately bound by social convention. Alice's only option for advancement in life is to marry. The availability of potential partners creates the boundaries within which Alice must work; Alice can only rise only to the social status of the man who would choose to marry her. And, the one who chooses her initially is Mr. Haskett. Presumably, at the time, he was the best chance for her to attain the position she desired. Haskett had been a successful businessman, albeit in a small town. By marrying Haskett, Alice achieved all she could in her particular social arena, but Haskett and the life he offered weren't enough. Through Waythorn's perspective, we are allowed a glimpse into her previous life. Waythorn comments, "...she must have looked down on the other women, chafing at her life, and secretly feeling that she belonged in a bigger place" (991). In short, Alice had ambitions that outstripped her position and opportunities. Consequently, if Alice wanted to move up, Alice had to move on. Divorcing Haskett was necessary to remarry and to climb the social ladder with Gus Varick, since, as Wharton writes, "Alice Haskett's remarriage with Gus Varick was a passport to the set whose recognition she coveted..." (984).

However, Wharton ensures that Alice is far from being seen as simply a manipulative climber. Had Wharton had presented Alice as merely a talented schemer, the story would have been an indictment rather than a defense. Wharton instead shows that women are trapped by social convention and that one possible (and legitimate) way to escape is through elaborately orchestrated divorces and remarriages. To do so, Wharton needs to show that the Alices of her social strata cannot be reduced to a negative stereotype. She does so by also revealing Alice's redeeming qualities—ones that compensate for her seemingly indefensible actions. She reveals Alice to be a lovable, caring woman. Wharton writes of Alice's devotion as a mother, "She was very fond of Lily—her affection for the child had perhaps been her decisive charm in Waythorn's eyes..." She also writes of Alice's value as a wife. Wharton writes, "He (Waythorn) had the sense of having found refuge in a richer, warmer nature than his own" (995). Through these revelations, Wharton successfully creates a multi-dimensional character. Wharton scholar Mary Beth Inverso writes, "Wharton's heroine emerges ultimately not as a perfidious schemer, but as a many-sided personality..." (4).

Not everyone agrees. Some of Wharton's contemporaries missed the nuances she created. Charles Trueblood wrote in 1920, "The art of fiction would seem by now almost a traditional field for the assertion of feminine emancipation; but if Mrs. Wharton can be said to assert any emancipation at all, it is only that of the individual woman who frees herself by the force of her own character and talent" (91).

For minds like Trueblood's, Wharton needs to bolster her characters by showing that divorce is complicated. Wharton shrouds the circumstances of Alice's marriages and divorces in some mystery. Waythorn realizes, "...that there were recesses that his lantern had not explored," (992). As the story moves on, it is clear that Alice has told half-truths but what is unclear is whether she is justified in doing so. We are left to wonder about the exact causes of her divorces and to understand that the circumstances surrounding them are complex and defy definition in conventional terms.

These complexities, Alice's personal qualities, and her personal history couldn't have been revealed by anyone but Mr. Waythorn. Through Waythorn, Wharton allows the reader to discover her just as her husband does. We are allowed to see Alice without her own bias and guile. We are allowed to make our own inferences and draw our own conclusions. Had Wharton constructed this narrative through the eyes of the other characters, the result would have been entirely different.

If Alice herself had done the telling, we might have heard an unexciting narrative of how she had no choice but to divorce her first two husbands. She might have vaguely explained that Mr. Haskett was not the man he seemed to be, leaving us to ascribe all sorts of heinous crimes to the man. Waythorn even notes that Alice had "spoken vaguely of her first marriage as unhappy, had hinted, with becoming reticence, that Haskett had wrought havoc among her young illusions" (991).

She might have also explained (being very discreet, of course, for Gus' sake) that Gus Varick had experienced financial difficulties. Her seeming reluctance to tell all would have to lead us to believe that she and Lily might have starved had she remained in the marriage. We might have applauded her for extricating herself from an entirely difficult situation and for her honor in protecting the man who had so egregiously failed at properly supporting a family.

Likewise, had Gus Varick done the telling, we would have received an entirely different and far less colorful account. We might have received a bewildered account of Alice's discontent in the marriage. Perhaps Gus himself might have explained that he was not the marrying kind but had taken a chance with Alice because she had seemed so taken with him. Gus is clearly an easy-going and affable man. When confronted with having to deal with his ex-wife's new husband he is "easy without being undignified..." He is open about himself, even explaining to Waythorn without embarrassment that he hadn't always had sufficient funds to support Alice and Lily. He is even open to receiving Waythorn's help, telling him, "It's awfully good of you..." So, if Gus had told the story, we might have reduced Alice to the stereotypical money grubber, oblivious to the finer qualities of such an amiable companion...

Wharton needs to tell Alice's story from Waythorn's perspective to make her point—that women of her time were confronted with complex choices which led to difficult compromises. She even uses Waythorn to clearly state her message. He argues, "...society has not yet adapted itself to the consequences of divorce...till that adaptation takes place every woman who uses the freedom the law accords her must be her own social justification." He shows us that society needs to catch up to its divorce laws.

Through Waythorn we see that Alice is neither the complete victim nor the complete villain. He discovers that she has lied to him even as he discovers that he has accrued the benefits of her experiences. He realizes that "...he was directly indebted to his predecessors for the devotion which made his life easy if not inspiring" (994). Through Waythorn, Wharton has painted a picture of a woman who is complicated, loving, interesting and vaguely unsettling—a picture that could not have been painted through any other set of eyes. By seeing Alice through Waythorn's eyes, we see her both as the polished and loving wife and mother and as a woman who has used men for her own agenda.

Sadly, we also learn that Alice has lost herself as she has done so. Alice's art has alienated her from herself, a result seen only from the close distance of a husband's perspective. As Alice has asserted her character in climbing the social ladder, she has lost her person in her successive identities as a wife. Waythorn comments that "Alice Haskett—Alice Varick—Alice Waythorn—she had been each in turn, and had left hanging to each name a little of her privacy, a little of her personality, and a little of the inmost self where the unknown god abides" (994).

We see how each successive marriage forced Alice to suppress her own identity in order to accommodate the identity of her husband. Alice blushes when realizing that she had made a mistake by confusing one husband's preferences for another's, as she does when she pours cognac into Waythorn's coffee; we understand that her very existence is wound up in remembering her current spouse's preferences.

We learn Alice's existence has become a perpetual act. Waythorn comments, " was an art, and made up, like all others, of concessions, eliminations, and embellishments; of lights judiciously thrown and shadows skillfully softened. His wife knew exactly how to manage the lights, and he knew exactly to what training she owed her skill" (994). Mary Beth Inverso concurs. She writes, "Alice remains silent on her subject method. The selves she constructs are entirely her own creations, and she tells us nothing of their making. Stage presence, control, and evasion are very much her essence. Together they constitute the secret of her endurance and her power" (6).

Finally, we realize that Alice has become a commodity; her husband sees her as such. Wharton writes, "Waythorn felt himself yielding again to the joy of possessorship. They were his, those white hands with their flitting motions, his the light haze of hair..." (988). Waythorn also comments that he has become a shareholder in his wife's personality. He even compares himself to a member of a syndicate (994). The idea of Alice as a commodity is reiterated by University of Massachusetts professor Melissa McFarland Pennell who writes,"At first troubled by...what he believes has been the false image she projected, Waythorn comes to see that Alice is a mixed being just as he is, that she is a product of her social world, a product he desired. Because her self is her only resource, Alice functions as a commodity who ultimately goes to the highest bidder" (38). She also writes, "Through Waythorn's point of view, Wharton reveals how the male gaze defines woman as an object, something to be desired, owned, and defined" ( 38).

Again, only through Waythorn's view can we see Alice's personal compromise. Through Waythorn's careful unearthing of Alice's circumstances and character, Wharton reveals her second message--that women pay for their social advancement with the loss of their own identities. And, through Waythorn's eyes, Wharton shows that women can, and often should, take advantage of the legal rights afforded them with the understanding that they will pay with their own identity for the privilege.


Work Cited


Inverso, Mary Beth. "Performing Women: Semiotic Promiscuity in ‘The Other Two'." Edith Wharton Review 10.1. 1993 Spring. 3-6."Critical Responses to 'The Other Two'."  30 July 2008. The Edith Wharton Society. 22 November 2008. Web.

Pennell, Melissa McFarland. Student Companion to Edith Wharton. Student companions to classic writers. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press, 2003. "Critical Responses to 'The Other Two'." 30 July 2008.  The Edith Wharton Society. 22 November 2008. Web.

Trueblood, Charles K. Edith Wharton Review. Chicago: Jansen, McClurg, 1920. 91. NetLibrary. EbscoHost. Weber State University Library. 22 November 2008. Web.

Wharton, Edith. "The Other Two." The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Volume D. Fifth Edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006. 983-996.


"Trifle Men--Losing Power Struggles in Glaspell's Trifles"


Susan Glaspell, in her ground-breaking original play, "Trifles," addresses not only issues of oppression of women by their over-bearing male counterparts, but she also takes a surprising look at the possibility of gender role reversal, albeit unbeknownst to the male characters.  The play is superficially quite simple:  An oppressed and emotionally abused woman kills her husband and the details of the crime, as well as incriminating evidence, are discovered by the wives of the lawmen investigating the scene.  It sounds simple enough, however, this is a play about subtlety.  Moreover, it is a play about the difference between an obviously feminine, subtle approach to a problem enacted by the women, and the exaggeratedly raw and ultimately useless approach as demonstrated by the male characters of the play.  Many critics will take the position that the women in the play, who "are used to worrying over trifles," are the trifles of the play in relation to the men (Glaspell 1043).  However, Susan Glaspell, generally considered an exemplary feminist author, is not calling the women trifles, but instead suggesting that the men in the play are the trifles, at least by the hierarchical order of importance. 

While the play is packed with obvious symbolism that may even appear forced and juvenile to some, Glaspell's more important symbols lie in the shadows of the other blatant, almost caricatured elements.  In order to understand all of Glaspell's intended symbolism intricately woven into the piece, it is important to understand that she is known for creating "modern ‘pioneers,' who make for themselves new frontiers of feeling, thinking and living, often at considerable cost, both financial and psychological, to themselves" (1040).  Considering this, the women in this play cannot be written off as trifles any easier than can the details to which they are paying attention.  As the men enter the opening scene, they serve only one purpose, that of establishing the setting.  They tell the audience at what point the characters are and for what reason.  It is the only useful function that they serve throughout the entire play.  The men are essentially cardboard stage trees.

When Hale says to the county attorney after telling the background of discovering the body, "I guess that's all I know that you don't," he speaks not only to the county attorney but to the women and to the audience, signifying that he has reached the extent of his usefulness (1043).  Glaspell, with this line, establishes the mental capacity of her male characters and allows the line to sink in while the attorney looks around the kitchen, letting the men set the scene of mental hierarchy.  She allows the women to remain silent throughout the first scene, in the presence of the men, but not to portray a sense of oppression.  She keeps the women silent at this point because, as it is said, "still waters run deep," and their silence juxtaposed with the men's useless banter gives the women an appearance of intelligence.  After the county attorney asks if there is anything of importance in the kitchen the sheriff replies, "Nothing here but kitchen things" (1043).  This line could be delivered on a set with no props whatsoever, as the most important "kitchen things" he is referring to in his dismissal are actually the women.  It is clear from this point that the men expect very little intelligence from the women.  As one critic writes, "…the women are permitted access to knowledge because it is assumed they will not be able to make intelligent use of it" (Holstein 284).  It is here that the men solidify their separation from the women and, following this one brief interaction, finish out the play buzzing about the central hive, the women, like drone wasps.  The men become the trifles of a charm bracelet, rattling around the female wrist and providing no useful function.  While it may be too far to suggest that the three women of the play are symbolic of the Fates in Greek mythology, as has been suggested by at least one critic, it is clear that the women are in control at this point (Russell).   

After the county attorney discovers the dirty towel and begins criticizing the accused Mrs. Wright's housekeeping skills, the women begin to bond together in defense against the male force.  When the men leave to investigate the upstairs, Mrs. Hale suggests that some of the dirt on the towel could have been caused by the deputy sheriff.  As with all of Glaspell's symbolism throughout, more than one conclusion can be derived from this.  Of course Mrs. Hale believes that some of the dirt was caused by the deputy, but what she is really suggesting is that some of the blame belongs to the men.  This statement carries into the discovery of the dead bird.  She says, "wish I'd have thought of that sooner," a regret of not acting on an opportunity to lay blame on the men that she is quick not to repeat in the future by not revealing the bird (Glaspell 1044). 

One very intriguing symbol used by Glaspell is the apron.  Mrs. Wright requests that the women bring her, among other things, her apron, which Mrs. Peters speculates is "just to make her feel more natural" (1045).  What is interesting about this is the contrast that it creates to Wright's movement from the rocking chair to the still chair and the broken door to the birdcage.  First of all, obviously the bird initially symbolizes Minnie Foster and her departure from the captivity that has been created by her husband, Mr. Wright.  Likewise, the movement from the rocking chair symbolizes her movement from a destructive pattern of essentially running in place, to a new place, although a more still and quiet place.  All of the symbols relating to Minnie Foster are those of change and departure.  One should ask why, then, would she want to don a symbol of servitude and display her subservient "nature"?  Well, for one thing, the interpretation of her desire for the apron belongs to Mrs. Peters.  It is easy to forget that it is not Minnie who says that the apron makes her feel more natural, but Mrs. Peters, thus demonstrating the gender attitudes possessed by Peters, (who is "married to the law"), at this point in the play.  Perhaps Foster wanted the apron, not to feel more natural, but rather because it contained an incriminating knot in the strings.  Since it is established throughout the play that the women are the only ones who will discover any evidence, it stands to reason that Minnie Foster ought to be counted as intelligent enough to realize where there existed evidence as well.

One powerful underlying theme throughout the play is the idea of stillness.  It is seen in the move from the rocking chair to the still chair.  It is shown in the behavior of the women in the presence of the men.  Mrs. Peters and Mrs. Hale bring it up again while discussing the actual manner by which the crime would have had to be committed:  "It must have been done awful crafty and still" (1045).  Later, as they discuss the dead bird, the women talk of stillness.  "I know what stillness is," Mrs. Peters says, perhaps warming up to the idea that Minnie was justified in doing what she did (1049).  It is also important to notice that wherever stillness is mentioned it is in association with the women.  The women are stillness, and as such they stand in stark contrast to the men, who stomp around upstairs and march in and out of the scene looking for signs of anger.  The men, not being still, have no concept of why stillness would be used to kill a man as opposed to using a gun, which was also in the house.  The visual dynamic of the play also suggests that the women, who remain on stage for the entire show, are still, while the men are in constant and futile motion, like the rocking chair.  The women exist as the heart of the story and the men represent a collective ignorance and its demand for "justice" without regard to motivation.  The role of the men, "their official capacities notwithstanding, is comparable to that of a Greek Chorus, ‘the voice of the community's conscience,' entering at various points to reiterate their major themes—Minnie's guilt and the triviality of the women's occupations, avocations, and preoccupations" (Mustazza 490).

In the tradition thus far established by the women of controlling everything about the situation, Mrs. Hale attempts to rewrite the events that will inevitably take place with Minnie Foster.  She notices that the sewing in her quilt becomes erratic and she wishes to fix it.  She says, "I'll just finish up this end," in other words, "I'll rewrite the ending" (1047).  The sewing in the quilt is symbolic of the fateful destiny of Minnie Foster and therefore, "by ‘just pulling out a stitch or two that's not sewed very good' and replacing it with her own stitching, Mrs. Hale symbolically claims her position as the person who spins the thread of life" (Russell).

Finally, with the discovery of the dead bird, the audience is left to draw several conclusions.  Apart from the discovery underlining the truth that Minnie did, in fact, kill her husband, one possible conclusion is that the women having re-stitched Minnie's quilt and reassigned her fate will be successful in their meddling.   Glaspell, however, "understood human nature well, as her explorations of the actions and motives of her protagonists attest" (Ozieblo).  It is therefore not a stretch to see that Minnie Foster, who was "kind of like a bird herself" will be executed, may be hanged, regardless of the women's efforts to hide the incriminating evidence (1048).  As the men run in their useless orbits, they will no more be convinced of her innocence by the lack of evidence that they would acknowledge that there was evidence in "trifles" to begin with.

What Glaspell makes abundantly clear in her play "Trifles" through symbolism as well as the superficial action of the piece is that the apparent power that the men of her time possessed may have only gone as far as the women allowed it to.  For a play that is more about control than murder to offer this control almost exclusively to the female characters in an overtly male-dominated society is one of the reasons that "feminist criticism has been re-instating Susan Glaspell in the canon of American women writers for well over two decades now" (Ozieblo).


Work Cited


Glaspell, Susan. "Trifles" Lauter, Paul (ed.) The Heath Anthology of American Literature, Volume D. Massachusetts: Houghton Mifflin Company, 2006 (1041-1050).

Holstein, Suzy Clarkson. "Silent Justice in a Different Key: Glaspell's ‘Trifles.'" Midwest Quarterly 44 (Spring 2003): 282. Academic Search Premier. Weber State University Stewart Library, Ogden, UT. 18 Oct. 2006.

Mustazza, Leonard. "Genetic Translation and Thematic Shift in Susan Glaspell's ‘Trifles' and ‘A Jury of Her Peers." Studies in Short Fiction 26 (Fall 1989): 489. Academic Search Premier. Weber State University Stewart Library, Ogden, UT. 18 Oct. 2006.

Ozieblo, Barbara. The Literary Encyclopedia. 19 Oct. 2006. Web.

Russel, Judith Kay. "Glaspell's Trifles." Explicator. 55,2 (Winter 1997): 88. Academic Search Premier. Weber State University Stewart Library, Ogden, UT. 18 Oct. 2006.


"Dreiser, 'Typhoon,' and the Love Giant"


Theodore Dreiser was a sensual man. Not only did he consider himself driven by his own sexual desires, but he also studied just how instincts and desires drove the human mind. His studies of Freud and Spencer instilled in his young psyche the ideas that "sex-drive is a biological need" 1, and that "a man is born to yearn and desire, and yet he lives in a world of limits"2 His writing reflects this. By the time Dreiser wrote "Typhoon" in 1926, he had been experiencing this world of drives and limits very intimately. In his writing, he seems to exploit those human desires and pulls from personal feelings a new world for his characters. Through the material I've read, it seems quite plausible that Dreiser connected most certainly with Young Hauptfuhrer, brazen and bold as he was, and that his driven lust and desire for Ida corresponds quite shockingly with the same lust Dreiser experienced upon meeting Helen Richardson, his mistress for more than 27 years. This relationship of emotion and desire would prove to be a great insight into the characters of this short story.

Dreiser saw himself as a romantic who was strong, brave, and frankly a Genius as we would see from his novel by the same name. Likewise, he describes young Hauptfuhrer as "a beau, a fighter, a fellow of infinite guile where girls of all sorts were concerned." Dreiser was also from German descent, and when first being introduced to Edward Hauptfuhrer we learn that Ida's "old-fashioned dictatorial German parents didn't bother him. Didn't he have a pair of his own?" My, it seems Dreiser is painting a self-portrait. After all, Dreiser's own father was involved in the woolen mills, the industrialism of the time, and Edward's father was in the coal business. The only difference seems to be that Dreiser lived in poverty as a youth, and young Edward came from money.3

The similarities between Ida and Helen are astonishing from Dreiser's own descriptions. He portrayed Ida in such a sensual way - "Her very light and silky hair. A rounded and intriguing figure… her small nose and full and yet small and almost pouting mouth and rounded chin. Those cheeks. Those swimming, eager, melting grey-blue eyes - that rounded sensuous face… the fair Ida… the budding Ida."3 In the diary of Theodore Dreiser, he described Helen when he first met her - "Her hair a halfway shade between gold and brown, changing color in changing lights. Beautiful hands. A ravishing smile… sympathies quick and warm…sensual…delicate features. A dazzling skin with the natural bloom of youth upon it. A perfect and sensual form, --soft, yielding and rounded, -- horribly provocative to all men."4

When Edward first sees Ida and hears of the predicament surrounding her father's over-protectiveness, it is his desire and challenge to win her and to have her. Apparently, that was what was first on Dreiser's mind upon meeting Helen. Dreiser wrote: "Saturday, Sept 13 - 1919. This day I met Helen… am able to tell by her look that she is as sensual as she is beautiful… I am tempted to take her in my arms & kiss her."4 And just as Mr. Hauptfuhrer first met a weak resistance in Ida after the initial kiss when he wanted to take it further, Dreiser first met the same struggle in Helen. Ida declares, "Ah, you don't know my father. No, I couldn't do that. No, I mustn't… I wouldn't dare to."5 Dreiser has a similar experience, and just like Hauptfuhrer, wins in the end.

"Wednesday. Sept 17 - 1919. This day Helen was scheduled to come down to dinner with me at 6:30. Didn't expect her really and was still sad - depressed at my inability to capture the most attractive woman I ever knew… But at 6:30 she comes & her attitude is so collie like & warm that I take her in my arms and kiss her and she responds as though she passionately loved me… We walk back to the studio & she sits on my couch. I kiss & press her, but when I try to feel her breasts and thighs she withdraws & we begin a long argument which ends at midnight by her threatening to leave. Doesn't want to give herself to me. I feel sick - almost defeated. Call her back & tell her she must yield - there can be no mere simple friendship between us - that it is impossible for me. Finally, she yields and agrees solemnly to come Friday night.

Friday, Sept. 19 - 1919. Helen is scheduled to come down to sleep with me for the first time tonight. I am in a fever heat for her to come.

Saturday, Sept 20 - 1919. After more delicious morning hours with Helen we finally get up at 10:30."6

The connection between these two sets of lovers is more than just a coincidence. Ida's first rejection of Hauptfuhrer is parallel to Helen's rejection of Dreiser. "His arms attempted familiarities… which caused her to jump up and demand to be put ashore." Then the feelings of Dreiser appear clear as day in the form of Edward's feelings: "Nervous lest he had been too pressing too soon. For - after all - what a beauty! Christ, the lure! He couldn't let her go like that. It was a little too delicious and wonderful to have her…"5 Those feelings of lust were clearly what Dreiser was feeling on September 18, 1919.

Dreiser was described as being "independent, a creature of free will; and yet [a] mere tool of his appetites [and] physical needs." It doesn't seem off that Dreiser would write these emotions down in his journal immediately, and then years later place them in print again due to perhaps nostalgic reveries. The same critic observed, "Dreiser was obviously riding the high crest of romanticism. The impermanence of man, his insignificance in the face of time, his inability to arrest the moment - all of these themes run through romantic poetry, and Dreiser was just as overcome by nostalgia - by the passage of time - as a Keats or a Shelley."7

Dreiser was reflecting on those feelings of a mere five or six years earlier, and perhaps was thinking of the frailty of time. After all, six years after having met Helen, Dreiser still was unable to marry her. He was still married, and she probably still was too. It wouldn't be until nearly 27 years after they met that they would marry for a short two years. The frailty of his first marriage was definitely apparent by the permanent separation of Dreiser from Sara White in 1909. Time sure has a way of playing with our emotions. What once seemed so bright and intense usually dwindles with new challenges and uncertainties. Dreiser wasn't writing about Helen in quite the same light ten years later, and Edward had certainly fallen into the trap of the chase; once it is over, the zeal is lost.

Dreiser reveals just how easy it is for men to move on into other relationships. Edward didn't find it very difficult to discard Ida and see other women. Dreiser himself was known to have had many extramarital affairs besides that of Helen Richardson. In fact, Marguerite Tjader claimed to have had a love relationship with Dreiser near the end of his life after working with him for years. She even wrote a book about it: Love That Will Not Let Me Go: My Time with Theodore Dreiser. Women were drawn to him and were willing to do just about anything for him. "In 1922 Helen gave up her screen career to follow Dreiser back East."8 Well, he wrote about love. And he most certainly practiced what he preached.

The critic Lawrence E. Hussman stated, "In a literary age during which the reader's demand for psychological truth in the packaging of fictional characters has been strongest, Dreiser, even more than most other modern novelists, relied on introspection to animate his. Those characters [dramatize] the desires their maker struggled ceaselessly to fulfill in his own life."9 So Edward Hauptfuhrer not only was a part of Dreiser himself but was that image that Dreiser so eagerly wanted to fulfill in his lifetime. He wanted to make women love him to this extent. So that in their passion, they would find, that to live without him would be no life at all.

"Dreiser [concurred with] Schopenhauer's assertion that sexual fulfillment constitutes the hidden agenda behind all human striving." Marguerite, who knew him and his work intimately said, "In considering Dreiser's [writing], one should remember that they are also expressions of his temperament… They are virtually untapped but intrinsic parts of his literary biography."9 I would say he must have been pretty pleased with his accomplishments. He thought a lot of Hauptfuhrer and saw much of himself in the young man. After all, he was a Love Giant, and the evidence is there to support that.


Work Cited

  1. Reik, Theodor. Psychology of Sex Relations. New York: Rinehart & Co.,  1945.
  2. Pizer, Donald. Critical Essays on Theodore Dreiser. Boston: G.K. Hall & Co.: 136-139. Lehan, Richard. The Romantic Dilemma.
  3. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Lauter, Paul. Gen. Ed. Dreiser, Theodore. "Typhoon". 1926.
  4. Riggio, Thomas P. Theodore Dreiser: American Diaries 1902-1926. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1982.
  5. The Heath Anthology of American Literature. Lauter, Paul - General Editor. Dreiser, Theodore. "Typhoon". 1926.
  6. Riggio, T. Theodore Dreiser: American Diaries 1902-1926.
  7. Pizer, D. Critical Essays: 136-139. Lehan, Richard. The Romantic Dilemma.
  8. Tjader, Marguerite (Ed. Lawrence E. Hussman). Love That Will Not Let Me Go: My Time with Theodore Dreiser.  New York: Peter Lang, 1998.

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