Dombey and Son Summary
Charles Dickens

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Dombey and Son Overview

Charles Dickens’s Victorian realist novel, Dombey and Son, chronicles the effects of one man’s life of toxic pride, arrogance, and greed, his eventual fall from grace, and redemption. When his young son, Paul, dies at six years old, Mr. Dombey loses the only person he has ever loved. He is unable to love his beautiful, kind, intelligent daughter Florence who longs for his affection because she is a girl and thus worthless in business. And he is unable to love either of his two wives, the gentle, kind Fanny, or the beautiful, arrogant, and iron-willed Edith. Through a series of self-inflicted misfortunes caused by his own stubborn pride and indifference to others, Dombey eventually faces both emotional and financial ruin. However, through the kindness and forgiveness of his daughter, Dombey repents and learns love, kindness, and generosity. This books explores the themes of women’s roles, materialism and greed, parenting and childhood, and modernity, imperialism, and industrialization.

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Dombey and Son Study Guide