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Posted on August 19th, 2012, by

“Financier”¯ is one of the most popular books written by Theodore Dreiser. The book attracts the audience by its naturalist elements, which marked a new trend in literature, which was characterized by the transition from realism to naturalism. At the same time, this book has not only artistic value, but it is also a literary work which reveals a great shift in the 19th century society. In fact, the author uncovers basic vices of his epoch and a dramatic change of the society, when traditional humanistic values and old American traditions have gone, being replaced by the predatory strive for the personal enrichment and success.

The book focuses on the life story of the main character, Frank Cowperwood, who has made a successful career and became an outstanding financier, which, though, is eventually ruined but he is never giving in and keeps on his struggle for wealth and prosperity. The author creates an egoistic character, whose main goal is the satisfaction of his needs. The main character does not really care about society or his family. He lives for himself. In fact, the wealth is not the ultimate goal for him, but it is rather an instrument he uses to get everything he wants in life.

In such a way, the author shows a dramatic socio-cultural shift, when materialistic values have become dominant in society. The wealth and high social position became more important than traditional values and humanism. At the epoch, when the novel was created, the rapid industrialization and growth of cities led to the emergence of a new elite, which Cowperwood represented. This new elite had a demoralizing effect on the entire society and the author warns about this negative effect in his novel.

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