Cosmopolis Themes & Motifs

This Study Guide consists of approximately 36 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Cosmopolis.
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Nihilism

The character arc of the novel’s protagonist, Eric Packer, can be viewed as a descent from confidence in his worldview to a state of desperate nihilism. Eric’s conversation foreshadows this descent, while at the same time highlighting Eric’s pre-nihilistic state at the beginning of the novel. Shiner says to Eric, “Do you get the feeling sometimes that you don’t know what’s going on?...People eat and sleep in the shadow of what we do. But at the same time, what?” (14). Shiner subtly displays symptoms that, by the end of the novel, are mirrored in Eric. Shiner feels slightly disillusioned with his work, and he feels as if he may not have any true knowledge of the world. Meanwhile, Eric maintains his confidence in his work and the essential substance of the world. This is demonstrated by his confidence that his work...

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This section contains 2,398 words
(approx. 6 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Cosmopolis Study Guide
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Cosmopolis from BookRags. (c)2017 BookRags, Inc. All rights reserved.
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