Oh Captain, My Captain: Dreiser and the Chaplain of Madison Square

Oh Captain, My Captain: Dreiser and the Chaplain of Madison Square Oh Captain, My Captain Dreiser and the Chaplain of Madison Square , University of Connecticut Among the many minor characters in Sister Carrie, none is more striking than a solitary unnamed figure called the “Captain.” He enters the novel when Hurstwood is at his lowest point, a relic of his old self at one hundred and thirty-five pounds, reduced to wandering the streets in shabby clothes.1 A bout of pneumonia had cost him his janitorial job at the storied Broadway Central Hotel, and after being released from Bellevue Hospital, he is “a short step to beggary” (463). He becomes one of the many homeless of the city and is close to the suicidal moment that comprises the original climax of the novel. He goes to the theater where Carrie is playing, hoping for a handout, but with no luck. At that moment, “when Broadway is wont to assume its most interesting aspect,” when the night revelers and well-heeled crowd fill the gaily lit streets of what was then the theater district, a “peculiar individual did in those days invariably take his stand at the corner of 26th Street and Broadway” (465). Dreiser provides a few biographical facts about http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Studies in American Naturalism University of Nebraska Press

Oh Captain, My Captain: Dreiser and the Chaplain of Madison Square

Studies in American Naturalism, Volume 11 (2) – Aug 29, 2016

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © University of Nebraska Press
ISSN
1944-6519
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Abstract

Oh Captain, My Captain Dreiser and the Chaplain of Madison Square , University of Connecticut Among the many minor characters in Sister Carrie, none is more striking than a solitary unnamed figure called the “Captain.” He enters the novel when Hurstwood is at his lowest point, a relic of his old self at one hundred and thirty-five pounds, reduced to wandering the streets in shabby clothes.1 A bout of pneumonia had cost him his janitorial job at the storied Broadway Central Hotel, and after being released from Bellevue Hospital, he is “a short step to beggary” (463). He becomes one of the many homeless of the city and is close to the suicidal moment that comprises the original climax of the novel. He goes to the theater where Carrie is playing, hoping for a handout, but with no luck. At that moment, “when Broadway is wont to assume its most interesting aspect,” when the night revelers and well-heeled crowd fill the gaily lit streets of what was then the theater district, a “peculiar individual did in those days invariably take his stand at the corner of 26th Street and Broadway” (465). Dreiser provides a few biographical facts about

Journal

Studies in American NaturalismUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Aug 29, 2016

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