The Individual And The Environment
September 20, 2013
The Individual and the environment
Theodore Dreiser was born to immigrant parents in 1871 in Indiana. He grew up in poverty, religious bigotry, emotional instability and his families frequent moves were made due to the need of money. Mr. Dreiser attended University of Indiana and went into newspaper journalism. He became a pioneer of naturalism, which will be discussed later, through the use of letters. In his writings he used a “mechanic” representation of human life, however he also showed the human ...view middle of the document...
Shirley immediately falls in love with him and begins to involve herself in a complex series of lies to ensure that both men do not find out about the other. Shirley prefers Arthur because he always says yes, yes and sure, sure! He seems to be the perfect match for her. Arthur sends her flowers all the time and gives Shirley the attention she requires. Thinking of the story, it is a complicated twist on the traditional girl meets boy, girl gets boy, and girl loses boy type of story. All through the story, Shirley constantly dotes over trying to figure where she stands in Arthur’s future plans. When she realizes that she does not and never will have a part in them, she experiences difficulty with accepting this and continues to seek out her future with him, she takes it to the point of avoiding Barton like the plague. As the plot continues, he sees her less often, then begins to write her less frequently, until he sends her a last letter. In the letter he does not evade the issue and explains to her of his plans to move to Java. Furthermore, she accepts the advantages of Barton, while still longing for Arthur. As the story comes to an end, Shirley finds herself restrained to choose Barton because her true love, Arthur, does not show interest in her. So in the end Barton’s unconditional love wins her and she decides he is the she should marry.
Throughout the story you see the mistreatment of women and how many women have no choice. In the eyes of Arthur women are objects and expendable. His view of women is to basically have a good time. This is seen on page 1385, “Arthur was headstrong and wanted her every evening that he chose”, this indicates that Arthur does not care about Shirley’s opinions or wishes because he sees himself as superior to her because she is a woman. Then on page 1386 it states “He never seemed to have any fixed clear future for himself in mind”, this clearly illustrates that he is using her. Barton has a plan, however, Shirley ignores it. She is in love. Finally, on page 1387, “beginning of just such days and just such excuses”. This is when Arthur begins to ignore her. This tells the reader that he does not care for her emotions because she is seen as an object to him. However, this...