Skip to main content

Sister Carrie

Sister Carrie

Dr Katie McGettigan on Sister Carrie

Dr McGettigan is an expert in nineteenth-century American and transatlantic literature and print culture. She teaches on our MA in Victorian Literature, Art & Culture: the perfect forum in which to expand your knowledge and appreciation of Sister Carrie, Theodore Dreiser, and the key contexts for this novel.

Sister Carrie is contextually informed by the Chicago Worlds Fair of 1893 which doesn't appear in the novel but which influences Dreiser

The first Ferris Wheel appears at the Chicago Worlds Fair and the idea of the wheel of fortune/the ferris wheel influences the novel metaphorically even though the novel is set in 1889 (it is written in 1899)

Characters fortunes rise and fall in the novel: class boundaries are more fluid, and money makes social climbing possible, but a financial and social fall is equally possible.

Against the image of the Ferris Wheel is the rocking chair which represents stasis

Is Sister Carrie a novel about movement and the possibility of movement, or is it about stasis



Explore Royal Holloway

Get help paying for your studies at Royal Holloway through a range of scholarships and bursaries.

There are lots of exciting ways to get involved at Royal Holloway. Discover new interests and enjoy existing ones

Heading to university is exciting. Finding the right place to live will get you off to a good start

Whether you need support with your health or practical advice on budgeting or finding part-time work, we can help

Discover more about our 21 departments and schools

Find out why Royal Holloway is in the top 25% of UK universities for research rated ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’

Royal Holloway is a research intensive university and our academics collaborate across disciplines to achieve excellence.

Discover world-class research at Royal Holloway

Discover more about who we are today, and our vision for the future

Royal Holloway began as two pioneering colleges for the education of women in the 19th century, and their spirit lives on today

We’ve played a role in thousands of careers, some of them particularly remarkable

Find about our decision-making processes and the people who lead and manage Royal Holloway today