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Frank Norris' graphic portrayal of the seamy side of survival in turn-of-the-century urban America remains shocking and powerful today -and its conclusion just as harrowing.
McTeague is the story of a poor dentist scraping by in San Francisco at the end of the 19th century, and his wife Trina, whose $5,000 lottery winning sets in motion a shocking chain of events. Few works have captured the seamy side of American urban life with such graphic intensity.
First published in 1899, this graphic depiction of urban American life centers around McTeague, a "dentist" practicing in San Francisco at the turn of the century. While at first content with his life and friendship with an ambitious man named Marcus, McTeague eventually courts and marries Trina, a parsimonious young woman who wins a large sum of money in a lottery. It is not long before the jealousy and avarice of the majority of the characters in the novel sets off a chain of inevitable and increasingly horrific events. Norris' work, so strikingly different from that of his contemporaries, is an admirable example of social realism, which provided America with a shocking reflection of its sordid sense of survival. From the opening description of San Francisco to McTeague's final desperate flight far from his 'Dental Parlors, ' this novel examines human greed in a way that still causes readers to pause and reflect.
Contains: Vandover and the Brute, McTeague, The Octopus, and Essays.
Purchase of this book includes free trial access to www. million-books. com where you can read more than a million books for free. This is an OCR edition with typos. Excerpt from book: - . . . . . . . ( 1 There had not been much of a crop to haul that year. Half of the wheat on the Broderson ranch load failed entirely, and Derrick himself had hardly raised more than enough to supply seed for the winter's sowing. But such little hauling as there had been had reduced the roads thereabouts to a lamentable condition, and, di: rin i; the dry season of the past few months, the layer of dust had deepened and thickened to such an extent that more than once Presley was obliged to dismount and trudge along on foot, pushing his bicycle in front of him. It was the last half of September, the very end of the dry season, and all Tulare County, all the vast reaches of the San Joaquin Valleyin fact all South Central California, was bone dry, parched, and baked and crisped after four months of cloudless weather, when the day seemed always at noon, and the sun blazed white hot over the valley from the Coast Range in the west to the foothills of the Sierras in the east. As Presley drew near to the point where what was known as the Lower Road struck off through the Rancho de Los Muertos, leading on to Guadalajara, he came upon one of the county watering-tanks, a great, iron-hooped tower of wood, straddling clumsily on its four uprights by the roadside. Since the day of its completion, the storekeepers and retailers of Bonneville had painted their advertisements upon it. It was a landmark. In that reach of level fields, the white letters upon it could be read for miles. A watering-trough stood near by, and, as he was very thirsty, Presley resolved to stop for a moment to get a drink. H- drew abreast of the tank and halted there, leaning his bl vck-. against the fence. A couple of men in white overalls were repainting the surface of the tank, seated i, n swing ', ? platforms. . .
Frank Norris was a late 19th century American novelist writing in the naturalist genre. His most famous works include McTeague (1899), The Octopus: A California Story (1901), and The Pit (1903). His works show socialistic tendencies and were influenced by Darwin and Huxley. His work often includes depictions of suffering caused by corrupt and greedy turn-of-the-century corporate monopolies. The Pit was set just before the turn-of-the-century. The novel deals with the Chicago wheat market. A successful grain dealer marries a lovely young woman who has some doubts about him. Only after he meets with business reverses does he win her love and devotion.
The Trilogy of The Epic of the Wheat includes the following novels: THE OCTOPUS, a Story of California. THE PIT, a Story of Chicago. THE WOLF, a Story of Europe.
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