|Abstract||Theodore Dreiser has generally been considered, even by those who regret his prose style, a powerful novelist. Accounts of the wellsprings of that inherent power, however, have tended to dwell on broad issues of cultural history with which Dreiser involved himself: socio-economic analyses and philosophical allegiances. This study proposes that the root of Dreiser's power is embodied in his selection and organization of his fictional materials; in short, in his art. Dreiser writes in a fictional "language" more fundamental than that of prose style. In focusing primarily on the novel widely accepted as his masterpiece, this study demonstrates that one of the major art principles of Dreiser's practice is his scenic presentation. Dreiser evolved a narrative style which, to paraphrase Thoreau, so states facts that they become mythologies. Dreiser's narrative power, this study finds, is remarkably analogous in effect to the motion picture: the reader shares the immediate perceptions of Dreiser's protagonist as he confronts the material facts of his life-- cities, buildings, clothes, vehicles, and social rituals. This immediate and personal attachment to the facts of American experience generates the powerful emotion and the sense of individual destiny proper to tragic vision.