The protagonist, Carrie is a young girl of eighteen when she takes a train to Chicago. She meets a traveling salesman named Drouet and moves in with him after a few weeks. After being wooed by Hurstwood, she is kidnapped by him and taken to New York. Hurstwood's financial decline forces her to apply for jobs in the theater, and she soon becomes a well known actress. She leaves Hurstwood near the end and enjoys great success as one of Broadway's stars. However, even in all her wealth Carrie remains unhappy at the end.
Charles H. Drouet
The first man that Carrie meets on the train to Chicago. He finds her when she is poor and on the verge of returning home and convinces her to move in with him. Drouet introduces Carrie to his friend Hurstwood who later steals her from him. He is the only character that remains completely unchanged throughout the entire novel.
Carrie's sister and the person Carrie first lives with in Chicago. She is a housewife but dedicated to hard work and long days. Carrie hates her lifestyle and leaves the Hanson home when Drouet offers her something better.
Minnie Hanson's husband, he is a cleaner of refrigerator cars at the stockyards. He represents the immigrant attitude towards hard work and slow accumulation of wealth. He is boring, returns home from work and focuses on the newspaper, and only puts up with Carrie because he thinks she can contribute to the household income.
George W. Hurstwood
Introduced as the manager of Fitzgerald and Moy's, he is a dashing man who has achieved success. He falls in love with Carrie and slowly sacrifices his family, home and job for her. He eventually steals ten thousand dollars from his employers and runs away with Carrie, ending up in New York with her. When his business in New York fails, he becomes an idler. Carrie eventually leaves him and he turns into a homeless man who commits suicide at the end.
Fitzgerald and Moy
Hurstwood's employers who run a successful bar in Chicago. They do not press charges when he steals their money.
George Hurstwood's wife, she is a powerful woman who has all the family land held in her name. When Hurstwood starts playing around with Carrie, she hires a detective and some lawyers to file for divorce. She is focused on her own success and on her daughter Jessica.
George Hurstwood, Jr.
George Hurstwood's son, a young lawyer who enjoys life in his own, private way.
George Hurstwood's daughter who is striving to join upper-crust society and marry wealthy. She is a snob, but succeeds in marrying a rich man. She reappears in the last chapter with her mother, both of them heading off to Rome.
Frank A. Hale
An officer of the Standard theater.
Frank Hale's wife, she is the person in Chicago who introduces Carrie to the wealthier lifestyle. Her influence is partly what makes Carrie notice how much more refined Hurstwood is when compared to Drouet.
Carrie's neighbor in New York, she introduces Carrie to Broadway society. Carrie longs to be her social equal and learns how to act the part of a wealthy woman from her.
A cousin of Mrs. Vance, he is modeled on Thomas Edison. His influence causes Carrie to become disillusioned with her success as an actress in comedy and makes her desire to perform more dramatic works.
One of the girls in the chorus line who helps Carrie. She eventually becomes Carrie's roommate, even when Carrie starts earning a fortune.
Sister Carrie Questions and Answers
The Question and Answer section for Sister Carrie is a great
resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.
Class is a theme in Sister Carrie. Some characters are really rich, some are dirt poor, and some get by. Most characters live inside their class but appearances do not always tell the whole story. The reader has to pay attention to the many class...