Sister Carrie

by

Theodore Dreiser

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Caroline “Carrie” Meeber Character Analysis

Carrie is the titular protagonist of the novel. She is the sister of Minnie Hanson and mistress of Drouet and, later, Hurstwood. Throughout the novel, Carrie is always chasing after happiness, be it through wealth, fame, or distinction. At the beginning of the novel, Carrie is a young woman from provincial Wisconsin who imagines that leading a cosmopolitan life will bring her happiness. After moving in with her penny-pinching sister and her husband, Sven Hanson, in Chicago, Carrie realizes that life in the city is quite dull without material wealth. After a short-lived attempt at earning her keep, she chooses to become the mistress of a wealthy man named Drouet, whom she met on the train to Chicago. While living with Drouet, Carrie encounters his friend Hurstwood, an even wealthier man, and later moves to New York with Hurstwood to be his mistress instead. In each of these cases, Carrie experiences certain qualms of conscience; nevertheless, her desire for wealth is always too great to overcome. Carrie eventually meets Ames, a well-educated and idealistic young man, and encounters for the first time the idea that wealth isn’t everything and that it’s better to pursue art. Soon after, she leaves Hurstwood to pursue acting, mainly for financial reasons—Hurstwood has run out of money and has no motivation to get a job—but also out of a desire to pursue distinction and self-sufficiency. As Carrie grows rich and famous, her esteem for material wealth deteriorates. By the end of the novel, she is disillusioned and will likely never achieve happiness: Carrie never finds happiness in what she has, but always yearns for something that is just beyond her reach.

Caroline “Carrie” Meeber Quotes in Sister Carrie

The Sister Carrie quotes below are all either spoken by Caroline “Carrie” Meeber or refer to Caroline “Carrie” Meeber. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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).
Chapter 1 Quotes

When a girl leaves her home at eighteen, she does one of two things. Either she falls into saving hands and becomes better, or she rapidly assumes the cosmopolitan standard of virtue and becomes worse. Of an intermediate balance, under the circumstances, there is no possibility.

Related Characters: Caroline “Carrie” Meeber
Related Symbols: The City
Page Number: 1
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

Not only did Carrie feel the drag of desire for all which was new and pleasing in apparel for women, but she noticed too, with a touch at the heart, the fine ladies who elbowed and ignored her, brushing past in utter disregard of her presence, themselves eagerly enlisted in the materials which the store contained.

Related Characters: Caroline “Carrie” Meeber
Related Symbols: The City
Page Number: 16
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

As Carrie listened to this and much more of similar familiar badinage among the men and girls, she instinctively withdrew into herself. She was not used to this type, and felt that there was something hard and low about it all. She feared that the young boys about would address such remarks to her—boys who, beside Drouet, seemed uncouth and ridiculous.

Related Symbols: The City
Page Number: 29
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 6 Quotes

On the first morning it rained [Carrie] found that she had no umbrella. Minnie loaned her one of hers, which was worn and faded. There was the kind of vanity in Carrie that troubled at this. She went to one of the great department stores and bought herself one, using a dollar and a quarter of her small store to pay for it.

“What did you do that for, Carrie?” asked Minnie, when she saw it.

“Oh, I need one,” said Carrie.

“You foolish girl.”

Carrie resented this, though she did not reply. She was not going to be a common shop-girl, she thought; they need not think it, either.

Related Characters: Caroline “Carrie” Meeber (speaker), Minnie Hanson (speaker)
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7 Quotes

To [Carrie], and indeed to all the world, [Drouet] was a nice, good-hearted man. There was nothing evil in the fellow. He gave her the money out of a good heart—out of a realisation of her want. He would not have given the same amount to a poor young man, but we must not forget that a poor young man could not, in the nature of things, have appealed to him like a poor young girl. Femininity affected his feelings. He was the creature of an inborn desire.

Page Number: 45
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 8 Quotes

“Where do you suppose she’s gone to?” said Minnie, thoroughly aroused.

“I don't know,” a touch of cynicism lighting his eye. “Now she has gone and done it.”

Minnie moved her head in a puzzled way.

“Oh, oh,” she said, “she doesn't know what she has done.”

“Well,” said Hanson, after a while, sticking his hands out before him, “what can you do?”

Minnie’s womanly nature was higher than this. She figured the possibilities in such cases.

“Oh,” she said at last, “poor Sister Carrie!”

Related Characters: Minnie Hanson (speaker), Sven Hanson (speaker), Caroline “Carrie” Meeber
Related Symbols: The City
Page Number: 54
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 10 Quotes

Here, then, was Carrie, established in a pleasant fashion, free of certain difficulties which most ominously confronted her, laden with many new ones which were of a mental order, and altogether so turned about in all of her earthly relationships that she might well have been a new and different individual. She looked into her glass and saw a prettier Carrie than she had seen before; she looked into her mind, a mirror prepared of her own and the world’s opinions, and saw a worse. Between these two images she wavered, hesitating which to believe.

Related Characters: Caroline “Carrie” Meeber
Page Number: 65-66
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 11 Quotes

[…] Carrie was naturally imitative. She began to get the hang 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.

Related Characters: Caroline “Carrie” Meeber
Page Number: 74
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 14 Quotes

[Drouet] was simply letting things drift because he preferred the free round of his present state to any legal trammellings. In contrast, Hurstwood appeared strong and sincere. He had no easy manner of putting her off. He sympathised with her and showed her what her true value was. He needed her, while Drouet did not care.

Page Number: 95
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 20 Quotes

[Carrie] felt Hurstwood’s passion as a delightful background to her own achievement, and she wondered what he would have to say […] She was now experiencing the first shades of feeling of that subtle change which removes one out of the ranks of the suppliants into the lines of the dispensers of charity.

Page Number: 137
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 26 Quotes

Anyhow, there was one change for the better. She knew that she had improved in appearance. Her manner had vastly changed. Her clothes were becoming, and men—well-dressed men, some of the kind who before had gazed at her indifferently from behind their polished railings and imposing office partitions—now gazed into her face with a soft light in their eyes.

Related Characters: Caroline “Carrie” Meeber
Page Number: 171
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 27 Quotes

The manager was no fool to be led blindly away by such an errant proposition as this, but his situation was peculiar. Wine was in his veins. It had crept up into his head and given him a warm view of the situation. It also coloured the possibilities of ten thousand for him. He could see great opportunities with that. He could get Carrie.

Related Symbols: The City
Page Number: 183
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 28 Quotes

The progress of the train was having a great deal to do with the solution of this difficult situation. The speeding wheels and disappearing country put Chicago farther and farther behind. Carrie could feel that she was being borne a long distance off—that the engine was making an almost through run to some distant city. She felt at times as if she could cry out and make such a row that some one would come to her aid; at other times it seemed an almost useless thing—so far was she from any aid, no matter what she did. All the while Hurstwood was endeavouring to formulate his plea in such a way that it would strike home and bring her into sympathy with him.

Related Symbols: The City
Page Number: 191
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 29 Quotes

This man, to whose bosom she was being pressed, was strong; he was passionate, he loved her, and she was alone. If she did not turn to him—accept of his love—where else might she go? Her resistance half dissolved in the flood of his strong feeling.

Page Number: 196
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 31 Quotes

[Carrie] could not, for the life of her, assume the attitude and smartness of Mrs. Vance, who, in her beauty, was all assurance. She could only imagine that it must be evident to many that she was the less handsomely dressed of the two. It cut her to the quick, and she resolved that she would not come here again until she looked better. At the same time she longed to feel the delight of parading here as an equal. Ah, then she would be happy!

Related Symbols: The City
Page Number: 217
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 32 Quotes

In all Carrie’s experience she had never seen anything like [Sherry’s]. In the whole time she had been in New York Hurstwood’s modified state had not permitted his bringing her to such a place. There was an almost indescribable atmosphere about it which convinced the newcomer that this was the proper thing. Here was the place where the matter of expense limited the patrons to the moneyed or pleasure- loving class.

Related Symbols: The City
Page Number: 223
Explanation and Analysis:

[Carrie] felt as if she would like to be agreeable to [Ames], and also there came with it, or perhaps preceded it, the slightest shade of a feeling that he was better educated than she was—that his mind was better. He seemed to look it, and the saving grace in Carrie was that she could understand that people could be wiser.

Page Number: 225-226
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 35 Quotes

That night he felt a cold coming on and took quinine. He was feverish until morning, and sat about the next day while Carrie waited on him. He was a helpless creature in sickness, not very handsome in a dull-coloured bath gown and his hair uncombed. He looked haggard about the eyes and quite old. Carrie noticed this, and it did not appeal to her. She wanted to be good-natured and sympathetic, but something about the man held her aloof.

Page Number: 246
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 39 Quotes

Her need of clothes—to say nothing of her desire for ornaments— grew rapidly as the fact developed that for all her work she was not to have them. The sympathy she felt for Hurstwood, at the time he asked her to tide him over, vanished with these newer urgings of decency. He was not always renewing his request, but this love of good appearance was. It insisted, and Carrie wished to satisfy it, wished more and more that Hurstwood was not in the way.

Related Symbols: The City
Page Number: 271
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 42 Quotes

Carrie’s little soldier friend. Miss Osborne, seeing her succeeding, had become a sort of satellite. Little Osborne could never of herself amount to anything. She seemed to realise it in a sort of pussy-like way and instinctively concluded to cling with her soft little claws to Carrie.

Related Symbols: The City, The Stage
Page Number: 300
Explanation and Analysis:

[Carrie] had learned that men could change and fail. Flattery in its most palpable form had lost its force with her. It required superiority—kindly superiority—to move her—the superiority of a genius like Ames.

Related Characters: Caroline “Carrie” Meeber
Page Number: 300-301
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 47 Quotes

Oh, Carrie, Carrie! Oh, blind strivings of the human heart! Onward, onward, it saith, and where beauty leads, there it follows. Whether it be the tinkle of a lone sheep bell o’er some quiet landscape, or the glimmer of beauty in sylvan places, or the show of soul in some passing eye, the heart knows and makes answer, following. It is when the feet weary and hope seems vain that the heartaches and the longings arise. Know, then, that for you is neither surfeit nor content. In your rocking-chair, by your window dreaming, shall you long, alone. In your rocking-chair, by your window, shall you dream such happiness as you may never feel.

Related Characters: Caroline “Carrie” Meeber
Related Symbols: The City
Page Number: 352
Explanation and Analysis:
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Caroline “Carrie” Meeber Character Timeline in Sister Carrie

The timeline below shows where the character Caroline “Carrie” Meeber appears in Sister Carrie. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1 (The Magnet Attracting: A Waif Amid Forces)
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...18-year-old Caroline Meeber boards a train bound for Chicago, carrying small belongings and large hopes. Carrie does not seem particularly attached to her hometown, as all it takes is the forward-moving... (full context)
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Carrie, “or Sister Carrie, as she had been half affectionately termed by the family,” is the... (full context)
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A man approaches Carrie and begins to make polite conversation. He is a traveling salesman, “one whose dress or... (full context)
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Carrie is drawn to the man’s description of the city’s magnificence. By this point, the two... (full context)
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The train approaches Chicago, and Carrie, seeing the marvels of the city, feels renewed interest. After Drouet points out different parts... (full context)
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Carrie finds her sister, and immediately realizes that this ordinary-looking woman does not carry the city’s... (full context)
Chapter 2 (What Poverty Threatened: Of Granite and Brass)
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Minnie, Carrie’s sister, brings Carrie to her third-floor flat, where she lives with her husband and baby... (full context)
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As Minnie prepares dinner, Carrie inspects the apartment and finds it dull, indicative of “the drag of a lean and... (full context)
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Carrie decides that Drouet cannot visit her anytime soon, until she finds a job and “establish[es]... (full context)
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Carrie meets her sister in the dining room after waking up, and notes that Minnie has... (full context)
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Carrie arrives in this district, eager to find employment and “delayed at every step by the... (full context)
Chapter 3 (We Question of Fortune: Four-Fifty a Week)
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Carrie walks around in the wholesale district looking for places to apply. She feels very self-conscious... (full context)
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Carrie’s cowardice begins to dishearten her as she continues to walk, so she decides to return... (full context)
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Carrie encounters Storm and King again and enters the building. She waits while the men conferring... (full context)
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McManus’s words give Carrie courage, and after wandering for some time, she gets directions from a police officer to... (full context)
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Carrie waits for 45 minutes before she is called in for an interview. After learning that... (full context)
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Walking along the street, Carrie sees an advertisement for female wrappers and stitchers for Speigelheim & Co., which produces boys’... (full context)
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Carrie continues her search but is rejected with “chilling formality” from the more desirable, respectable places.... (full context)
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The man behind the door at the shoe house tells Carrie they only employ book-keepers and typewriters, but tells her to ask for Mr. Brown upstairs.... (full context)
Chapter 4 (The Spendings of Fancy: Facts Answer With Sneers)
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For two days after receiving her job offer, Carrie dreams about spending her money on “every joy and bauble which the heart of woman... (full context)
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Hanson brightens a bit after Carrie tells him about her job offer. As Carrie cheerfully talks about her company at dinner,... (full context)
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Alone, the two sisters enjoy “a somewhat freer conversation” and Carrie once again brings up the theater, asking Minnie to accompany her. Minnie is apprehensive, saying... (full context)
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Carrie walks along Jackson Street, observing “the evidences of wealth,” though the narrator notes that “there... (full context)
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On Monday, Carrie rises early for work. At breakfast, she thinks nervously about her new job and the... (full context)
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After briefly reminding him of their encounter last week, Carrie follows Mr. Brown to the work room on the sixth floor. Mr. Brown hands her... (full context)
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The rest of the workday feels impossibly long, and Carrie grows increasingly certain that she does not want to be friends with any of her... (full context)
Chapter 5 (A Glittering Night Flower: The Use of a Name)
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Drouet never gets around to visiting Carrie. He is having a “gay time” dining at Rector’s, “a restaurant of some local fame,”... (full context)
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...to show him at midnight. Before leaving for a show, Drouet briefly tells Hurstwood about Carrie, whom he describes as “a little peach” and “a little dandy” whom he must call... (full context)
Chapter 6 (The Machine and the Maiden: A Knight of To-day)
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Carrie returns to the flat weary and disappointed, which irritates Hanson. Minnie is also disturbed. Carrie... (full context)
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After seeing Minnie and Hanson’s unresponsiveness, Carrie decides to go outside and watch the passersby, and meet Drouet there if he comes.... (full context)
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Carrie continues through the week, disgusted with her job and lonely at the flat. The narrator... (full context)
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As “the first premonitory blast of winter [sweeps] over the city,” Carrie realizes she has no winter clothes. Minnie allows her to keep a part of her... (full context)
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On the fourth day of her job search, a subdued Carrie encounters Drouet, who treats her to a lavish meal as she relays her present difficulties.... (full context)
Chapter 7 (The Lure of the Material: Beauty Speaks for Itself)
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...due—that it should be paid out as honestly stored energy, and not a usurped privilege.” Carrie has no such conception of money and simply views it as “something everybody else has... (full context)
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Drouet is “a nice, good-hearted man” in whom there was “nothing evil.” He gave Carrie so much money, money that he would not have given to a male beggar, simply... (full context)
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Carrie arrives home in high spirits but worries about how she can buy new clothing without... (full context)
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The next morning, Carrie sets out to look for jobs once again, as the money in her pocket “ma[kes]... (full context)
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When Carrie tries to return the money to Drouet, he refuses to take the money back. He... (full context)
Chapter 8 (Intimations by Winter: An Ambassador Summoned)
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...often overcomes reason. In this way, the human is “a creature of incalculable variability.” In Carrie, instinct and reason are “at war for the mastery.” As of now, Carrie “[follows] whither... (full context)
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Minnie is anxious about Carrie’s sudden departure, but her anxiety is “not exactly touched by yearning, sorrow, or love.” Upon... (full context)
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Carrie, in her new apartment, is eager to find something to do and also wonders what... (full context)
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One evening, after seeing “The Mikado,” an opera, Carrie and Drouet briefly bump into a girl with whom Carrie once worked at the shoe... (full context)
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At about the same time that Drouet is walking Carrie home, Minnie has a dream about Carrie. In the dream, Carrie is swallowed first by... (full context)
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Meanwhile, after seeing Carrie home, Drouet makes his way to Fitzgerald and Moy’s to visit Hurstwood. After exchanging greetings,... (full context)
Chapter 10 (The Counsel of Winter: Fortune’s Ambassador Calls)
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...“conventional standard”: “All men should be good, all women virtuous.” In light of this standard, Carrie feels she has failed. Though “comfortably established” and relatively carefree, Carrie is “laden with many... (full context)
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Drouet continues to dote on Carrie, taking her out and spending money on her. One morning, Drouet tells Carrie that he... (full context)
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Carrie “really [is] not enamoured of Drouet,” being “more clever than he,” and thus begins to... (full context)
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When Hurstwood visits, Carrie meets “a man who [is] more clever than Drouet in a hundred ways.” Respectful and... (full context)
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For Carrie, Hurstwood is delightful company. He displays better taste than Drouet, his soft calf leather shoes... (full context)
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After the euchre game, the three dine and Hurstwood invites Carrie and Drouet to attend the theater with him. Before leaving, Hurstwood observes to Drouet, “when... (full context)
Chapter 11 (The Persuasion of Fashion: Feeling Guards O’er Its Own)
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Carrie is “an apt student of fortune’s ways—of fortune’s superficialities.” For Carrie, fine clothes are “a... (full context)
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Others in Carrie’s apartment building are also a source of education for Carrie. Mrs. Hale, the wife of... (full context)
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Drouet returns and sees Carrie crying. He assumes that his absence caused this sadness and suggests they waltz to the... (full context)
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Because of Carrie’s constant efforts toward self-improvement, the Carrie that Drouet first met is very different from the... (full context)
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...in the same restaurant, sees them and thinks of how this flirtation is unfair to Carrie. Drouet feels no misgiving until he notices that Hurstwood is “cautiously pretending not to see.”... (full context)
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One evening, Drouet tells Carrie that he will take her to the show. At first, Carrie refuses the invitation, saying... (full context)
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At the theater, Hurstwood compliments Carrie. During their time in the theater box, Hurstwood spends his time leaning towards Carrie and... (full context)
Chapter 12 (Of the Lamps of the Mansions: The Ambassador’s Plea)
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On the night that Hurstwood attended the theater with Drouet and Carrie, his son, George Jr., also happened to be there. Hurstwood did not see his son,... (full context)
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...his affection for her has been waning and her company is always “dull.” After meeting Carrie, Hurstwood finds his wife all the more “irksome.” However, Mrs. Hurstwood is still intent on... (full context)
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...mutual antagonism [is] increased” between husband and wife. At the same time, Hurstwood’s interest in Carrie grows. (full context)
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At this point in time, Carrie has “the aptitude of the struggler who seeks emancipation.” Under Mrs. Hale’s tutelage, Carrie learns... (full context)
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A servant arrives and tells Carrie that Hurstwood has come to visit. Carrie assumes that Hurstwood does not know Drouet is... (full context)
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Carrie perceives that she has special feelings for Hurstwood, the likes of which she has not... (full context)
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As they talk, Hurstwood remarks that Carrie is not happy, and Carrie weakly agrees. Hurstwood sees that he is “the master of... (full context)
Chapter 13 (His Credentials Accepted: A Babel of Tongues)
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After his last visit with Carrie, Hurstwood thinks about her constantly. His interest in Carrie is “a flowering out of feelings... (full context)
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After Hurstwood’s departure, Carrie is confused and cannot make sense of her feelings. Carrie is grateful to Drouet for... (full context)
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...care of his saloon. On Friday afternoon, two days after his last visit, Hurstwood visits Carrie again. Carrie, startled, cannot tell if she is upset or delighted to see Hurstwood, and... (full context)
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...walk and finds a more private setting by renting a horse and cart. He teaches Carrie to drive and looks for “a break in the conversation when he could give it... (full context)
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Hurstwood strikes a chord with Carrie when he expresses his desire for sympathy, since she knows what it’s like to be... (full context)
Chapter 14 (With Eyes and Not Seeing: One Influence Wanes)
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That night, Carrie is “in a fine glow, physically and mentally.” She rejoices in her affection for Hurstwood... (full context)
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...Hurstwood only thinks of “pleasure without responsibility.” He does not think that a relationship with Carrie will disturb his home life. Hurstwood realizes that Carrie is more serious about his love... (full context)
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...Drouet at the resort. After exchanging cordial greetings, Hurstwood relays that he “called once” on Carrie and tells Drouet to visit her, as she is “rather anxious about [him].” Drouet leaves... (full context)
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Drouet returns to Carrie’s rooms and greets her as usual, but Carrie “[responds] to his kiss with a tremour... (full context)
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Drouet then relates that he met Hurstwood, who invited them to attend the theater. Carrie accepts this invitation with reserve, which Drouet attributes to their earlier conversation regarding marriage. Drouet... (full context)
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After seeing Drouet’s return, Hurstwood immediately writes to Carrie saying that he claimed to have visited once. Carrie writes back saying she accidentally revealed... (full context)
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At the theater, Carrie and Hurstwood secretly flirt. Carrie almost forgets about Drouet, “who babble[s] on as if he... (full context)
Chapter 15 (The Irk of the Old Ties: The Magic of Youth)
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...ignoring of Hurstwood by his own home came with the growth of his affection for Carrie.” Hurstwood’s interactions with his family are “of the most perfunctory kind,” as they share no... (full context)
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Hurstwood finds comfort in the idea that he is important to Carrie. He begins to write to her every day. He thinks Carrie is “worthy of all... (full context)
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On one late-Spring day, Hurstwood arranges to meet Carrie in the park. Hurstwood feels that he is “back in fancy to the old Hurstwood,... (full context)
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...they are wasting time in their current situation and exclaims that he cannot live without Carrie. Carrie feels touched and asks Hurstwood to be patient and arrange a plan “to go... (full context)
Chapter 16 (A Witless Aladdin: The Gate to the World)
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...forgets again until he sees a note regarding the play in the newspaper. He asks Carrie to take the part over dinner. Carrie is insecure but drawn towards the position. After... (full context)
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Little does Drouet know that Carrie has long been drawn to the idea of being an actress; she loves to repeat... (full context)
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Drouet tells Quincel that he has found a young woman called Carrie Madenda to play Laura, as “the lodge members knew him to be single.” Quincel gives... (full context)
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Carrie finds that the part of Laura is “one of suffering and tears.” She is surprised... (full context)
Chapter 17 (A Glimpse Thought the Gateway: Hope Lightens the Eye)
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Carrie writes to Hurstwood and tells him about receiving a part in the play. Hurstwood is... (full context)
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...he could say that he had been urged to come along.” Drouet tells Hurstwood that Carrie is to be in the play, and Hurstwood offers to plan a send-off and supper... (full context)
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Carrie attends the first rehearsal for the play. Mr. Quincel directs the volunteer actors with gusto.... (full context)
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During one particular scene, Carrie demonstrates her acting potential, embodying the part with “grace” that fascinates those around her. Her... (full context)
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Unfortunately for Carrie, Drouet is distracted and does not pay attention to her when she tries to tell... (full context)
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For the lately irritated Carrie, Hurstwood is as “the morning sun.” He attentively listens to her as she “[relates] the... (full context)
Chapter 18 (“Just Over the Border: A Hail and Farewell”)
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Carrie has “mastered her part to her own satisfaction” but remains nervous about performing. She finds... (full context)
Chapter 19 (An Hour in Elfland: A Clamour Half Heard)
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The play begins. Hurstwood and Drouet both notice that Carrie is not on stage and continue whispering in their box. The actors and actresses perform... (full context)
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Both Hurstwood and Drouet notice that Carrie is nervous. During her first appearance, she performs with a feeble and monotonous voice and... (full context)
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Drouet remarks to Hurstwood that Carrie is “too nervous” and decides to visit her backstage. Drouet comforts Carrie, telling her not... (full context)
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During the ballroom scene, Carrie “[begins] to feel the bitterness of the situation” her character is in and her performance... (full context)
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Hurstwood goes backstage to see Carrie. She is still with Drouet, “whose affection [is] also rapidly reviving.” Hurstwood feels jealous that... (full context)
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In the second act, Carrie is “easily the centre of interest.” She never performs with as much feeling as she... (full context)
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...play, Hurstwood puts a great deal of effort into restraining himself from showing affection to Carrie. Carrie realizes that the dynamic between her and the two men have changed: now she... (full context)
Chapter 20 (The Lure of the Spirit: The Flesh in Pursuit)
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Hurstwood experiences a new, profound agitation with regards to Carrie and Drouet, tortured by the thought of his lover being held by another man. He... (full context)
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...she would know why.” On the other hand, Hurstwood thinks all the more about meeting Carrie: “she must and should be his.” (full context)
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Carrie has been in “a world of fancy and feeling” since leaving Hurstwood the night before.... (full context)
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Drouet feels that he needs to rebuild his relationship with Carrie and brings up the idea of marrying after closing a deal. Carrie jokingly replies that... (full context)
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...house to pick up some forgotten bills and finds only the chambermaid, who tells him Carrie has gone out. Drouet and the chambermaid chat rather flirtatiously before she casually remarks that... (full context)
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...He asks her more regarding Hurstwood’s visits and learns that sometimes Hurstwood spends evenings with Carrie. Through all this, he is “yet not wholly unconscious of the fact that he was... (full context)
Chapter 21 (The Lure of the Spirit: The Flesh in Pursuit)
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Carrie and Hurstwood meet. Hurstwood is enchanted by her beauty, while Carrie enjoys the “glow” of... (full context)
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Carrie is confused and does not know how to answer. She’s in a tight position: she... (full context)
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Hurstwood asks Carrie if she is willing to leave with him on Saturday. Carrie asks, “when will we... (full context)
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Carrie tells Hurstwood that she will try to prepare herself. They make plans to meet the... (full context)
Chapter 23 (A Spirit in Travail: One Rung Put Behind)
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Carrie begins to doubt her decision to leave with Hurstwood. She feels sorry about leaving Drouet,... (full context)
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Carrie remains absorbed in her thoughts until Drouet’s return. Drouet is “flushed and excited and full... (full context)
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Carrie and Drouet begin to talk about Hurstwood. Carrie denies Hurstwood’s visits; however, she grows increasingly... (full context)
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Drouet, though irritated, is “fascinated” by Carrie’s show of feeling. He protests against Carrie’s anger by saying that he’s given her clothes... (full context)
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Carrie, mortified, tries to leave the house. Drouet is still sympathetic and tries to prevent her... (full context)
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Drouet pretends to pack while Carrie watches him. Carrie realizes that “throughout this argument [Drouet] had said nothing very harsh.” She... (full context)
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Carrie remains tightlipped and continues to blame Drouet, telling him “whatever has happened is your own... (full context)
Chapter 24 (Ashes of Tinder: A Face at the Window)
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...“no solution of anything,” Hurstwood begins to grow desperate. He comforts himself by thinking of Carrie, as “[she] was the one pleasing thing in this whole rout of trouble.” (full context)
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...mailbox in the morning and finds nothing. He sets out to the park to meet Carrie, but she does not come. Hurstwood grows worried that something happened to her but soon... (full context)
Chapter 25 (Ashes of Tinder: The Loosing of Stays)
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Hurstwood returns to his office more distressed than ever. He begins to worry about Carrie: “What could be the trouble in that quarter?” He spends the evening in a state... (full context)
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The next day, Hurstwood receives letters from neither Carrie nor his wife. He begins to worry more and more about Carrie: “His pain at... (full context)
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On Tuesday, Hurstwood visits Carrie’s apartment but leaves after “he [thinks] he [sees] a man watching him.” On the way... (full context)
Chapter 26 (The Ambassador Fallen: A Search for the Gate)
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After Drouet storms out of the apartment, Carrie begins to think about how she can support herself—“to her credit […] she never once... (full context)
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Carrie remembers the meeting she planned with Hurstwood, and “in her nervousness and stress of mind... (full context)
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Carrie gives up around noon, deciding “that it would be no use to seek further to-day.”... (full context)
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On Monday, Carrie decides to inquire after theater managers. She goes to the Chicago Opera House, a place... (full context)
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That night, Carrie finds distraction in the company of Mrs. Hale. However, she falls into “gloomy forebodings” again... (full context)
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On Tuesday, Carrie visits the Chicago Opera House again and works up the courage to ask the clerk... (full context)
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Carrie starts to head home, heart sore and soul withered. She stops by the post office... (full context)
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After returning home, Carrie discovers that Drouet took some of his things, “so his going was crystallising into staying.”... (full context)
Chapter 27 (When Waters Engulf Us We Reach for a Star)
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Hurstwood returns from his agitated stroll and finds Carrie’s letter. He is depressed by its contents and tone, yet finds comfort it the fact... (full context)
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...whether Drouet is staying alone; the clerk says yes. Hurstwood is pleased that Drouet and Carrie have argued. He decides to call on Carrie after finding out from the desk clerk... (full context)
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Hurstwood finds out from the chambermaid that Carrie has gone out. The chambermaid, having “no idea where [Carrie] had gone, but not liking... (full context)
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...for Detroit leaves at three o’clock in the morning. He then takes a cab to Carrie’s apartment and informs her that Drouet “is hurt and in the hospital” and wants to... (full context)
Chapter 28 (A Pilgrim, An Outlaw: The Spirit Detained)
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Carrie continuously asks Hurstwood about Drouet’s location and injury. Hurstwood responds with only vague replies. As... (full context)
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...to reach Canada and “make the best of it.” As they travel beyond city limits, Carrie grows increasingly nervous and begins to doubt that they are going to see Drouet. To... (full context)
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Carrie is furious at Hurstwood for his deception. Hurstwood attempts to calm her by proclaiming his... (full context)
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Hurstwood inquires after Carrie’s comfort and Carrie “[begins] to notice what she had always felt—his thoughtfulness.” Carrie starts to... (full context)
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...He is nervous, as “the police must be on his track by now.” Hurstwood appeases Carrie by telling her that she can buy all she wants as soon as they reach... (full context)
Chapter 29 (The Solace of Travel: The Boats of the Sea)
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Carrie finds comfort in the sensation of traveling and “almost [forgets] that she had been tricked... (full context)
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Hurstwood traps Carrie in an embrace and asks her to be his wife. Carrie begins to remember “her... (full context)
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...from Chicago. This unnerves him and he realizes that “he forgot in his triumph with Carrie […] the possibility of soon being known for what he was, in this man’s eyes,... (full context)
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...“to trouble concerning the extradition law” and feels a desire to leave Montreal. Hurstwood finds Carrie refreshed but cold towards him once again. On their way out to breakfast, Hurstwood notices... (full context)
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...crime. He finds a small addendum describing it in the papers and decides to keep Carrie from finding him out. The detective knocks on the door to Hurstwood and Carrie’s hotel... (full context)
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After returning to his rooms, Hurstwood tells Carrie that the detective is a friend from Chicago. He then decides to send the money... (full context)
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...he is anxious that he might be arrested upon returning to the States. Hurstwood and Carrie board the train to New York. Carrie, blissful in ignorance, enjoys the train ride. Furthermore,... (full context)
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When Carrie and Hurstwood arrive in New York, Hurstwood finally feels relieved after finding no one at... (full context)
Chapter 30 (The Kingdom of Greatness: The Pilgrim Adream)
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Carrie and Hurstwood find an apartment and Carrie notices that the rooms are smaller than the... (full context)
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...improve the resort so that he can get paid more. He returns home to tell Carrie, elated. (full context)
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Hurstwood initially enjoys his time at home with Carrie, “but the novelty of this wane[s] after a time, and he beg[ins] to feel the... (full context)
Chapter 31 (A Pet of Good Fortune: Broadway Flaunts its Joys)
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Carrie soon “[accepts] the things fortune provided with the most genial good-nature.” She finds pleasure in... (full context)
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...“content[s] himself with a very moderate allowance of personal apparel, and rarely suggest[s] anything for Carrie.” During the second year, Hurstwood’s salary stabilizes, but Carrie has already formed negative judgments of... (full context)
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...picking up, Hurstwood begins to buy more clothes for himself but also begins to neglect Carrie. As Carrie is passive, Hurstwood “[begins] to imagine that she was of the thoroughly domestic... (full context)
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...year in New York, a couple by the name of Vance move across the hall. Carrie catches a glimpse of Mrs. Vance, who is “so pretty and good-natured that Carrie instantly... (full context)
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After bumping into Mrs. Vance a few more times, Carrie becomes friends with her, finding her “an agreeable companion.” Carrie finds that the Vances’ flat... (full context)
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One day, Carrie and Mrs. Vance go to a matinee. Carrie notices that though she “had gotten herself... (full context)
Chapter 32 (The Feast of Belshazzar: A Seer to Translate)
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Carrie’s experience on Broadway makes her emotional and receptive to the contents of the play. As... (full context)
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Walking down Broadway teaches Carrie “a sharper lesson”: she will not have live until she has achieved her dream of... (full context)
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Hurstwood inquires after Carrie’s moodiness, and Carrie replies that she doesn’t feel well. Hurstwood invites her to see a... (full context)
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About a month after this experience, Mrs. Vance invites Carrie to the theater. Hurstwood is busy. Carrie dresses according to Mrs. Vance’s good-natured suggestions. Hurstwood... (full context)
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Carrie meets Mrs. Vance’s cousin, Ames. She finds him “an exceedingly genial soul.” Ames demonstrates a... (full context)
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Vance leads the way through the luxurious tables at Sherry’s. Carrie “[is] keenly aware of all the little things that were done” in the restaurant.” The... (full context)
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Ames remarks to Carrie that “it is a shame for people to spend so much money this way.” Carrie... (full context)
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As Carrie talks to Ames, she feels that “he [seems] wiser than Hurstwood, saner and brighter than... (full context)
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Much to Carrie’s disappointment, Ames leaves the company early. Carrie finds Hurstwood at home sleeping, with “his clothes... (full context)
Chapter 33 (Without the Walled City: The Slope of the Years)
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Carrie does not see Ames anymore and goes on leading life as usual. Still, Ames becomes... (full context)
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...at its best since he had been there.” This irritates him. He finally confesses to Carrie that he is losing money and tells her to spend less. Carrie perceives that “[Hurstwood]... (full context)
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Carrie depends on the Vances “for her enjoyment.” Unfortunately for Carrie, Mrs. Vance moves during the... (full context)
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One night, Hurstwood, “after thinking about a way to modify Carrie’s desire for clothes and the general strain upon his ability to provide,” tells Carrie that... (full context)
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This affects Carrie “more seriously than anything that had yet happened.” Carrie starts to see Hurstwood’s flaws and... (full context)
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Hurstwood tries to show Carrie that “there [is] no cause for financial alarm, but only congratulation over the chance he... (full context)
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...[are] not numerous.” By the end, of the business, Hurstwood is still jobless. Hurstwood informs Carrie that he is “going to get the worst of [his] deal.” Carrie asks if he... (full context)
Chapter 34 (The Grind of the Millstones: A Sample of Chaff)
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Carrie “[ponders] over this situation as consistently as Hurstwood, once she got the facts adjusted in... (full context)
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Carrie finds Hurstwood disagreeable, as “he was not so handsome when gloomy.” At dinner, Carrie is... (full context)
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...manner depresses Hurstwood. By dinnertime, Hurstwood is “in a solemn and reflective mood.” He tells Carrie that in order to start a business, he will “have to get something else and... (full context)
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After Hurstwood returns home, Carrie informs him that rent is due. Hurstwood experiences “the first taste of paying out when... (full context)
Chapter 35 (The Passing of Effort: The Visage of Care)
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Hurstwood is afraid that Carrie will think he’s lazy if he comes home early. He finds Carrie reading alone in... (full context)
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The next day is difficult, as Hurstwood cannot think of where to go. Carrie asks him to leave money for the week, and Hurstwood complies, leaving twelve dollars with... (full context)
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...days [come] in which a storm [prevails].” Hurstwood stays home and runs domestic errands for Carrie, spending the remaining time reading by the radiator. Carrie observes this “ease with some misgiving.” (full context)
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Feeling cold, Hurstwood returns home to a surprised Carrie at a quarter after three. Hurstwood falls sick and Carrie takes care of him. Carrie... (full context)
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...every day and soon “made no pretense of going anywhere.” Hurstwood begins to notice that Carrie is “far from perfect in household methods and economy.” He begins to suggest options for... (full context)
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...week, so that “on Saturday he was a sight to see.” As Hurstwood loses self-respect, Carrie also loses respect for him. Carrie resents Hurstwood for not trying, as “she had never... (full context)
Chapter 36 (A Grim Impression: The Phantom of Chance)
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The Vances come back, but Mrs. Vance does not visit Carrie as she does not know the new address. Carrie has been avoiding communicating with Mrs.... (full context)
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Carrie returns home and feels that “her situation [is] becoming unbearable,” as Hurstwood still looks unkempt... (full context)
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One day, Carrie finds Hurstwood in his old clothes and, “remembering Mrs. Vance’s promise to call,” directly asks... (full context)
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One day, Mrs. Vance calls while Carrie is away and Hurstwood opens the door. Mrs. Vance is shocked by Hurstwood’s changed appearance... (full context)
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Hurstwood dresses and leaves. For a moment, Carrie is afraid he has taken the money but then sees that Hurstwood is only taking... (full context)
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In the morning, Carrie does not speak to him. For the next two days, Hurstwood continues to live as... (full context)
Chapter 37 (The Spirit Awakens: New Search for the Gate)
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...“in due time the last fifty dollars was in sight.” One day, Hurstwood hints to Carrie that they ought to spend less, as “all but a hundred” remains. Hurstwood looks “so... (full context)
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A morning or two later, Carrie asks Hurstwood how people get on the stage. Hurstwood replies that “there must be dramatic... (full context)
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Hurstwood momentarily “[thinks] he [foresees] the result of this thing […] Carrie would get on the stage in some cheap way and forsake him.” Hurstwood underestimates Carrie... (full context)
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Carrie secretly resolves to get on the stage, thinking that she will not sacrifice herself and... (full context)
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One morning, Carrie dresses neatly and heads for Broadway. She stops at the Madison Square Theater to ask... (full context)
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Carrie looks through the paper, all the while distracted by Hurstwood’s indifference to her. Carrie tears... (full context)
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Carrie visits the first agent, Mrs. Bermudez, who tells Carrie that she “doesn’t know of anything”... (full context)
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Carrie then visits the second agent, Mr. Jenks. After Carrie tells him that she’d “like to... (full context)
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Carrie considers selling her jewelry so that she could get fifty dollars. Carrie meets Hurstwood at... (full context)
Chapter 38 (In Elf Land Disporting: The Grim World Without)
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Carrie visits the Casino the next day and “[finds] that in the opera chorus, as in... (full context)
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Carrie asks the doorman for Mr. Gray, but the doorman responds that Mr. Gray is busy,... (full context)
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Carrie then goes to the Empire Theater, where she finds “a hive of peculiarly listless and... (full context)
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The next day, Carrie sees the manager at the Casino, who tells her to “come around […] the first... (full context)
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Carrie asks Hurstwood if he “really [looks] for anything when [he goes] out.” Hurstwood responds that... (full context)
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Carrie tells Hurstwood that she could not find a position with the variety managers, and Hurstwood... (full context)
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On Monday Carrie returns to the Casino. The manager has forgotten her, but after a reminder from Carrie,... (full context)
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Still, Carrie tells Hurstwood that she has a place at the Casino. That night, there is “a... (full context)
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Carrie returns home and Hurstwood is not there. She eats only “a mouthful” before practicing, “sustained... (full context)
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Carrie finds that “it [is] not such a wonderful thing to be in the chorus.” Furthermore,... (full context)
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One day, Hurstwood tells Carrie that he only has “rent and thirteen dollars more.” They would have to scrimp even... (full context)
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Carrie does not invite Hurstwood to her first performance, as she has only a small part... (full context)
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At the end of the week, Carrie asks Hurstwood if he has heard back from the supposed job at the brewery. Hurstwood... (full context)
Chapter 39 (Of Lights and of Shadows: The Parting of Worlds)
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Carrie endures a month of mental distress: she must pay the rent, yet there are so... (full context)
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One evening while heading to work at the theater, Carrie notices a fellow chorus girl “arrayed in a pretty mottled tweed suit.” Carrie is envious... (full context)
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A fellow chorus girl makes friends with Carrie “because in Carrie she found nothing to frighten her away.” The girl relates to Carrie... (full context)
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In the morning, Carrie’s mood has dampened, as she must perform her “household duties” and deal with Hurstwood. Carrie... (full context)
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...desperate man had begun.” Hurstwood manages by paying from the ten dollars he hid from Carrie and the money Carrie leaves him at the end of the week. Carrie feels that... (full context)
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Carrie becomes close friends with the fellow chorus girl she had spoken with, Lola. Carrie, ashamed... (full context)
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One day, the theater manager notices Carrie’s grace and good looks and has her lead the chorus line. Carrie has “a chic... (full context)
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Hurstwood notices ways that Carrie has been changing: “He had seen the new things she was buying; the way she... (full context)
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Lola introduces Carrie to several “gay and festive” young men. Carrie is unenthusiastic: “After Drouet and Hurstwood, there... (full context)
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The dinner leads Carrie to recall Ames and “his ideals [burn] in her heart.” Carrie begins to think about... (full context)
Chapter 40 (A Public Dissension: A Final Appeal)
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The next morning, Carrie apologizes to Hurstwood. Hurstwood relates that he “[doesn’t] care,” feeding Carrie’s indifference towards him. He... (full context)
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Carrie’s opera plans to depart in two weeks. She applies at another company and gets a... (full context)
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One day, Oeslogge the grocer comes to claim his bill. Carrie answers the door and is shocked to learn that they owe sixteen dollars. This sort... (full context)
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...and he sympathizes with the demands of the workers. One day, after his argument with Carrie, a notice appears, advertising for a motorman position. Despite his sympathies and scruples regarding safety,... (full context)
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...on his “best clothes, which were poor enough” and gets ready to head to Brooklyn. Carrie, interested in the change, asks him where he is going. After hearing Hurstwood’s answer, Carrie... (full context)
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Hurstwood leaves before Carrie and makes his way to the office of the railroad building. The day is cold.... (full context)
Chapter 41 (The Strike)
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...barns; however, he is soon sent out again. Hurstwood is cold and distressed. Thoughts of Carrie’s insults keep him going. Hurstwood makes three trips and returns to a miserable dinner. One... (full context)
Chapter 42 (A Touch of Spring: The Empty Shell)
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...“the negative influence on [Hurstwood] of the fact that he had tried and failed”; however, Carrie gets the wrong impression. Hurstwood had not related his experiences. Thus, Carrie “[imagines that] he... (full context)
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Carrie has a part in a show as “one of a group of oriental beauties who... (full context)
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Seeing Hurstwood dampens Carrie’s mood again, “[replacing her merry thoughts] with sharp longings for an end of distress.” The... (full context)
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Carrie’s friend Lola begins to cling to Carrie, realizing that she “could never of herself amount... (full context)
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One day, Lola asks Carrie if she is willing to share an apartment, “the loveliest room and bath.” After Hurstwood’s... (full context)
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One day, Hurstwood expresses to Carrie that he thinks they are paying too much rent and ought to get a “smaller... (full context)
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Carrie borrows $25 from Lola that she had refused earlier, claiming that she “[wants] to get... (full context)
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Hurstwood looks around the apartment and finds that all of Carrie’s things are gone. The flat seems to him “wonderfully deserted.” Hurstwood tells himself, “I’ll get... (full context)
Chapter 43 (The World Turns Flatterer: An Eye in the Dark)
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Carrie is now installed in her “comfortable room.” She fears bumping into Hurstwood, but “as day... (full context)
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Carrie’s new salary is more than she can spend: she “found her purse bursting with good... (full context)
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One day, Carrie’s picture appears in the newspaper. Carrie is thrilled and thinks of “going down and buying... (full context)
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Carrie learns that her opera plans to go on the road and decides to audition for... (full context)
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Unbeknownst to Carrie, the author of the play “had fancied a great deal could be made of such... (full context)
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On opening night, the audience notices Carrie by the second act and begins to laugh. The chief comedian is annoyed that Carrie... (full context)
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Hurstwood reads about Carrie’s success from “a third-rate Bleecker Street hotel,” “without at first realising who was meant.” After... (full context)
Chapter 44 (And This is Not Elf-Land: What Gold Will Not Buy)
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After achieving fame, Carrie finds her circumstances to be vastly different: she has a better dressing room and “she... (full context)
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Carrie begins to get letters and cards. A certain Mr. Withers offers Carrie an apartment at... (full context)
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One day, after a matinee, Mrs. Vance visits Carrie. Carrie warms up to her “in spite of her first troubled feelings.” Mrs. Vance “tactfully... (full context)
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Many gentlemen send letters to Carrie, hoping for “an engagement.” One man with “a million in [his] own right” begs her... (full context)
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Carrie receives her first $150 paycheck. The cashier treats Carrie with much more friendliness than before.... (full context)
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Carrie begins to see that “life’s perfect enjoyment [is] not open.” A critic claims that Carrie... (full context)
Chapter 45 (Curious Shifts of the Poor)
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...cheaper rooms, living on the seventy dollars he got from selling furniture. He reads about Carrie in the papers and feels that in his shabbiness, “he [presents] a marked contrast to... (full context)
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...sees in the papers that there is a new play at the Casino and that “Carrie had gone!” He feels nervous, checks his money, and counts “but ten dollars in all.”... (full context)
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...the fifteen-cent lodging house and resorts to begging. One day, Hurstwood sees an announcement regarding Carrie’s return to New York with the Casino Company. On a “severe run of ill-luck,” he... (full context)
Chapter 46 (Stirring Troubled Waters)
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One day, while Carrie is playing in New York, Drouet comes to visit her backstage. He still exhibits an... (full context)
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The two enjoy a pleasant dinner the next day. After Drouet asks, Carrie relates to him that she no longer knows where Hurstwood is. Drouet tells a shocked... (full context)
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The following night, Carrie encounters Hurstwood while walking to the theater, “[frightening] her” with his “shabby, baggy figure.” He... (full context)
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Drouet calls on Carrie again, “but now he was not even seen by her.” The show then transfers to... (full context)
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...returns to New York, having “made a little success in the West.” He meets with Carrie but “there was nothing responsive between them.” Ames still thinks of Carrie as “united to... (full context)
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Carrie and Ames meet one afternoon at the Vances’. Carrie feels that she is “now blessed... (full context)
Chapter 47 (The Way of the Beaten: A Harp in the Wind)
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...of the pedestrians surrounding him. He then sees a large advertisement for the Casino with Carrie’s name and face, and impulsively decides to go in the theater to see Carrie. The... (full context)
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At this time, Carrie is reading Père Goriot, a book that Ames has recommended to her. She realizes “how... (full context)
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Carrie, despite her success, feels lonely. She had drawn near to things she found beautiful but... (full context)