Dombey and Son is the seventh novel by Charles Dickens. It tells the story of Paul Dombey, powerful head of the House of Dombey. He wants a son and when a daughter (Florence) is born he despises her. His second child, a son (Paul), is weak and sickly and dies a child. Paul's first wife dies with the birth of Paul Jr and he remarries. His second wife, Edith, does not love him and eventually runs away with Mr. Carker, a manager at the firm. With Carker gone, Paul is incapable of managing the business and it fails. In the end Paul is reconciled with his daughter, living with her family, and doting on his grandchildren. As with most of Dickens' work, a number of socially significant themes are to be found in this book. In particular the book deals with the then-prevalent common practice of arranged marriages for financial gain. Other themes to be detected within this work include child cruelty, familial relationships, and as ever in Dickens, betrayal and deceit and the consequences thereof. Another strong central theme is that of pride and arrogance, of which Paul Dombey senior is the extreme exemplification in Dickens' work.
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