An American Tragedy Author:Theodore Dreiser On one level, An American Tragedy is the story of the corruption and destruction of one man, Clyde Griffiths, who forfeits his life in desperate pursuit of success. On a deeper, more profound level, however, the novel represents a massive portrayal of the society whose values both shape Clude's tawdry ambitions and seal his fate: it is an unsur... more »passed depiction of the harsh realities of American life and of the dark side of the American Dream. Extraordinary in scope and power, vivid in its sense of wholesale human waste, unceasing in its rich compassion, An American Tragedy stands as the supreme achievement of a writer who ranks, in the words of Irving Howe, "among the American giants, one of the very few American giants we have had." As Mr. Howe goes on to declaare: "Reading An American Tragedy again... I have found myself greatly moved and shaken by its repeated onslaughts of marrative, its profound immersion in human suffering, its dredging up of those shapeless desires which lie, as if in fever, just below the plane of consciousness.....it is a masterpiece, nothing less."
The movie costarred Shelley Winters in an academy award winning role, with Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor. What you couldn't see in the movie was the working of Clyde's mind as he wrestled with his human nature. A fine study of the human condition.