A close reading of the two protagonists in McTeague shows that this love of the fetish is not gender-based but universal.(Prom Dresses 2012) Various recent critics have tried to come to terms with the compulsive activity exemplified in Naturalist fiction. Jennifer Fleissner attributes the "repetitive compulsion" to the changing nature of women's work in and outside the house and a renegotiation of women's public/private spaces because of woman's new role as a worker.
For Fleissner, feminized "naturalist characters...are shown stuck in small rooms, engaged in the most feminine of acts; putting a house in order over and over, obsessed with the details of an entrapping interiority" (61). I would suggest that men are also encumbered by cheap prom dresses oppressive "interiority" of their minds.
A careful reading of the two protagonists in Norris's McTeague shows that this love of the fetish is not gender-based but universal -- and based tiffany on sale an alienating economy. Barbara Hochman adeptly shows how the characters in McTeague are terrified by an imminent sense of loss (of self-control) and thus become obsessed with the need to control through ritualistic habits and stabilizing redundant activities.
Loss of daily routine (to McTeague) and loss of self through sexual surrender (to Trina) inspire "passion, rage, and obsession Tiffany Cuff Links on Sale," as the characters cannot deal with their potential annihilation. Unlike Darwinian survivors, these characters suffer "a crippling incapacity to adapt to change" 9); obsessive behavior cannot replace the sense of loss.
McTeague's fetishistic attitude toward Trina is most prominent Tiffany 1837 bangle when she is actually passive or missing from the scene altogether; e.g., when he gazes at her (while she is unconscious in his dentist's chair) or when he fantasizes about Trina while he surveys the objects in her room at her father's house.
He picks up her hairbrush, which evokes in him an impassioned and sensual response to her hair. The hairbrush becomes a fetishized Tiffany 1837 Bar drop earrings"pars pro toto": "That heavy, enervating odor of her hair -- her wonderful, royal hair! The smell of that little hairbrush was talismanic" (64).