Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name




Degree Program

English, MA

Committee Chair

Bein, Morris

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Hassold, Ernest C.

Committee Member

Mallalieu, William C.


Dreiser, Theodore, 1871-1945


The purpose of this paper is to examine three of Dreiser's major novels in order (1) to show that his philosophy of life is exemplified in his fiction and (2) to determine whether or not his ideas undergo any change. The three novels chosen for this study are The "Genius", An American Tragedy, and The Bulwark, because they cover a span of American life, as Dreiser saw it, from the time of his greatest productivity until his death--a period of thirty years. The first part of the thesis will contain: (1) a general background of the period of which Dreiser is a product and (2) Dreiser's particular background and his attitude toward life. The second part will comprise an analysis of the novels under study, which are to be considered under three major headings: (1) attitude toward religion, (2) attitude toward sex, and (3) attitude toward economic status.