Egor Rakitin, 743 group
The Text Analysis
The text under analysis is taken from the novel “Typhoon” belonging to the pen of American writer Theodore Dreiser. Despite the fact he was born in the USA and lived there, Theodore Dreiser wasn’t American in a true sense of this word. The Dreisers were an international family, for example his father was German and this fact had an impact on Dreiser’s works which were aimed at dispelling the myth of the “American Dream”. He treated the American world and its society negatively and attacked its false ideas, cutthroat competition and lack of responsibility.
The extract from “Typhoon” pivots on the same idea shown through Ida Zobel’s life. Ida is a ...view middle of the document...
And the Zobels are the representatives of the German nation which is opposed to the American nation with its “brash gayety and looseness”. This antithesis of German and American worlds could be the key to Theodore Dreiser’s conception of an ideal society, but it isn’t at least for me.
The extract can be subdivided into two parts – “Germany” with its people who are strict, hardworking and conservative on the one hand and “the USA” with its thoughtless, easy going and indifference, artificiality and insincerity. This is the reason why the general atmosphere of the extract is so diversified but at the same time fixed: dissatisfaction. Ida is dissatisfied with her destiny, her family is dissatisfied with Ida and the people about them, who in turn are dissatisfied with themselves. Otherwise what for are all these “attributes”: “pictures of almost naked women, petting parties and no decent concealing underwear”?
The message of the extract is hard to define. Someone may find here the problem of upbringing children, someone will think over the contraposition of two countries mentioned, the difficulties of living abroad or cultural conflicts. I suppose the idea of being yourself is always urgent and it is shown here too. This idea is always vital because we all may fall to the influence of mainstream, fashion, stereotypes etc. it is pointless to be masked trying to join the society you don’t belong.