Example research essay topic: Robert Shulmans Dreiser And The Dynamics Of American Capitalism – 563 words

Capitalism and Communism are two antagonist
economic, political, and social systems.
Capitalism is characterized by a free market for
goods and private control of production and
consumption, and by different social classes. In
Communism calls for a classless society, where the
leadership is in the hands of workers, and all
means of production are owned in common, and not
by the individuals. The fundamental theory of
Communism is Marxism, which viewed political,
social, and economic reality as based in the class
struggle, and predicted that Capitalism would
destroy itself because of the struggle between the
leaders and the workers/antagonist forces. Robert
Shulmans criticism, essay over Dreisers novel is
based on the ideology of Marxism. At the
beginning, he emphasizes the characteristic
features and the basic processes of Capitalism as
the processes of commodification, which provide
the divisive pressure of American Capitalism (non
equal division of labor, non equal division
between production and distribution, which leads
to a fact that there is no connection between
human labor and its results. He uses Marxs words
from his famous Das Kapital, the term that this
kind of connection is mystified, impossible to
understand or to explain that A commodity is
therefore a mysterious thing.

Another very
important fact to understand the character of
Communism and the thinking of their leaders, and
of course Shulmans attitude towards Dreisers
Sister Carrie is to understand the indictment of a
capitalistic society and their 2 fundamental
critiques those of alientation and of
reification. The opinion of Communists is that
people become a means of the exchange system of
Capitalism, they become commodities (objects and
possessors of objects), as well as their labor.
Shulman is talking about the fragmentation of self
and society, and stresses that this is exactly
what was the main feature of the 19th century
America. In other words, Capitalism creates human
relations, which operate more as exchanges of
goods, leave no room for ones selfhood, and bring
impersonal isolation. Shulmans opinion was also
influenced by Torquevilles Democracy in America,
which examines the unresolved conflict between
America as a democracy and America as a market
society, and its impact on the consciousness of
individuals, their social values and beliefs. It
is the Capitalism, which tends to equate happiness
with financial success and is a potential cause of
the tragedies of individuals( that the individuals
themselves are not the reasons for their personal
tragedies, but its the result of the unsatisfying
mechanism of Capitalism, which is the forced
desire to achieve financial success without a
guarantee of happiness). This kind of believe
explains Hurtswoods decline and the discontent of
Carrie.

Shulman in his essay points out the
character of consumerism, the obsession of
achieving material possession. He believes that it
is the primary driving force in the commodified
society as well as the fundamental part of Sister
Carrie. The general opinion about consumerism
explains that a capitalist economy manipulates the
desire of the consumer without ever completely
satisfying it. The unsatisfied desire drives the
consumer to continue buying more material goods
and brings constant frustration of people. There
is always something more to want. Carrie suffers
from this kind of chronic dissatisfaction, which
leaves her unfulfilled at the end of novel.

In the
second part of the essay, Shulman presents his
critique and analysis over particular parts of
Dreisers novel and its characters applying his
theory and belief. Bibliography:.

Research essay sample on Robert Shulmans Dreiser And The Dynamics Of American Capitalism