I encourage Dreiserians to read my post, “Two Letters from An American Tragedy,” with my thoughts and input from Thomas Kranidas.
I have always been interested in Grace Brown’s letters. Grace Brown was the murder victim of Chester Gillette in 1906 who is depicted in An American Tragedy in the character Robert Alden.
I think this post says a lot about what Dreiser was thinking in drawing the characters Roberta Alden and Sondra Finchley; and about common misconceptions about them and the novel.
— Roger W. Smith