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Pleasing to the «I»

The Culture of Personality and Its Representations in Theodore Dreiser and F. Scott Fitzgerald

Series:

Uwe Juras

This book discusses how Theodore Dreiser and F. Scott Fitzgerald alongside other novelists enforced in their usage and interpretation of the term «personality» a newly emerging vision of self in American society. This vision was other-directed: many Americans meant to impress their social surroundings through consciously cultivating personality as a social stimulus value, which they hoped would ceaselessly further their social station. Anticipating the discourses in other cultural forms, the early twentieth-century American novelists warned that individuals’ repeated endeavors to define themselves outwardly would inevitably lead to identity loss and depression.
Contents: The Trajectory of the Self in American Cultural History – Philosophical, Psychological, and Sociological Other-Directedness – Definitions of Personality – Representations of Personality in the Novels of Dreiser, Fitzgerald et al.