The means of describing spirituality in the works “Sister Carrie “ and “Gennie Gerhardt” by Theodore Dreiser
Theodore Herman Albert Dreiser was born in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1871 , August 27, in a strict Catholic family. His father, Johann Paul had emigrated from Mayen, Germany in 1844, worked briefly in New England wool mills, and then moved to the Midwest, where large numbers of Germans had settled. He went first to Dayton, Ohio, where he met Sarah, the daughter of a Mennonite family that had come to Ohio from Pennsylvania. Since he was a Roman Catholic and her family was strongly anti-papist, religious tensions forced the couple to elope. When they married in 1851, Sarah was seventeen and Johann twelve years her senior. They moved to Indiana, first to Fort Wayne and then to Terre Haute. Johann became a moderately successful wool dealer and prospered enough to be able to strike out on his own and become the proprietor of a wool mill in Sullivan, Indiana. In 1869 their fortunes changed for the worse when a fire destroyed the mill, leaving Johann with a debilitating injury. The fire, the downturn of the wool industry after the Civil War, and the national economic depression of the early 1870s resulted in long periods of unemployment. As Dreiser recorded in memoirs, the family never recovered financially or psychologically from this economic fall from grace.