7. The Rocking Horse Winners

Theodore Dreiser and Urban Naturalism

  1. G. R. Thompson

Published Online: 14 OCT 2011

DOI: 10.1002/9781444344271.ch7

Reading the American Novel 1865-1914

Reading the American Novel 1865-1914

How to Cite

Thompson, G. R. (2011) The Rocking Horse Winners, in Reading the American Novel 1865-1914, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781444344271.ch7

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 14 OCT 2011
  2. Published Print: 16 SEP 2011

Book Series:

  1. Reading the Novel

Book Series Editors:

  1. Daniel R. Schwarz

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9780631234067

Online ISBN: 9781444344271



  • The Rocking Horse Winners, Theodore Dreiser and urban naturalism;
  • American naturalism, consistent views of man and nature;
  • Cowperwood trilogy, hard-line determinism in The Financier;
  • theme of desire, central to Sister Carrie;
  • sex and the fallen woman, eros and thanatos;
  • “fallen woman” protagonist of the novel Jennie Gerhardt;
  • intelligent design, The Mycteroperca or black grouper;
  • Sister Carrie (1900), desire for sex and money;
  • Carrie Meeber's confused perceptions of her life;
  • narrator, that instinct and reason, desire, being at war


This chapter contains sections titled:

  • Conflict of Convictions

  • Fish-Tank Philosophy: Free Will and Fatality in the “Titan” Trilogy

  • Going Nowhere Fast: Fortune and Fortuna in Sister Carrie