By Martin Bucco
Known as the best writers at the American scene, Dreiser can also be known as one of many world's most sensible worst writers, with claims that he's an impurist with not anything yet genius. This tale, advised in ugly aspect and with loyal realism, recounts the dilemmas and offerings of a "loser"; we watch him ascend to temptation, fall in transgression, and obtain his acceptable penance.
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Additional resources for An American Tragedy (Cliffs Notes)
After his lengthy confession, Clyde broods on its effect on McMillan, while McMillan sees Clyde as filled with God's spirit. Elvira accepts McMillan's word of Clyde's salvation. But still clutching at contrition, Clyde wonders how one can do without sun, rain, work, love, energy, and desire. In short, Clyde does not want to die, and he cannot understand why McMillan did not lie to save him. Clyde prays to God to let him live but is dubious about the quality of his newfound peace. After Clyde's death, doubts assail McMillan; but, strong in her faith, Elvira Griffiths prays for the soul of her son and tries to visualize him in the arms of his Maker.
His primary intention is neither to find the truth nor to achieve justice, but to get himself elected to a judgeship. Although he courageously commits himself to victory, he has much support, both honest and dishonest. Ruthlessly he hurts Clyde, to the benefit of himself, his friends, and his party. His combative instincts aroused by community support and a faltering defendant, Mason is pictured as a foxhound leaping at its prey. Bullying, sarcastic, and sly, Mason affects oratorical displays which enhance his instinct to dominate a scene.
MASON Even during Clyde Griffiths's trial, the short, broad-chested, dynamic district attorney of Cataraqui County seems well on his way toward realizing the American Dream. On the make, he struggles for success in the form of additional political and legal power. Eager for victory and fame, he believes in seizing the main chance. Knowing that the strong more often than not crush the weak, Mason is determined to be strong. Certainly he means to conquer those whose boyhoods were less toilsome than his.