Reconstructing the Family Unit: A Study of Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby

Nyaa Hans Ndah


The family unit is the smallest but most important unit of the society. When the families are strong and united, the entire nation will definitely be strong and prosperous. If the families are weak or fragile, the entire society will obviously be fragilised. We set out in this study to probe into the American family unit as depicted in Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie and F. Scot Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. This paper is premised on the hypothetical contention that the American family unit as depicted in the novels under study, has significantly disintegrated, and is in dire need of reconstruction. Individual and Ego Psychological theories constitute the theoretical framework for this paper. Looking through the theoretical lens of Adler’s Individual Psychology and Erikson’s Ego Psychology, one can posit that, both novelists suggest in their novels under study a moral and spiritual rearmament as a condition sine qua non for the reconstruction of the American family unit.

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