Jennie Gerhardt by Theodore Dreiser

Jennie Gerhardt

byTheodore Dreiser

Kobo ebook | July 31, 2013

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One morning, in the fall of 1880, a middle-aged woman, accompanied

by a young girl of eighteen, presented herself at the clerk's desk

of the principal hotel in Columbus, Ohio, and made inquiry as to

whether there was anything about the place that she could do.  She

was of a helpless, fleshy build, with a frank, open countenance and

an innocent, diffident manner.  Her eyes were large and patient,

and in them dwelt such a shadow of distress as only those who have

looked sympathetically into the countenances of the distraught and

helpless poor know anything about.  Any one could see where the

daughter behind her got the timidity and shamefacedness which now

caused her to stand back and look indifferently away.  She was a

product of the fancy, the feeling, the innate affection of the

untutored but poetic mind of her mother combined with the gravity

and poise which were characteristic of her father.  Poverty was

driving them.  Together they presented so appealing a picture of

honest necessity that even the clerk was affected.


"What is it you would like to do?" he said.


"Maybe you have some cleaning or scrubbing," she replied, timidly.

"I could wash the floors."


The daughter, hearing the statement, turned uneasily, not because

it irritated her to work, but because she hated people to guess at

the poverty that made it necessary.  The clerk, manlike, was

affected by the evidence of beauty in distress.  The innocent

helplessness of the daughter made their lot seem hard indeed.

Title:Jennie GerhardtFormat:Kobo ebookPublished:July 31, 2013Publisher:WDS PublishingLanguage:English

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