Charles Dickens' novel Dombey and Son is set in 1931 America in this interesting drama that centers on an egotistical, over-ambitious owner of a shipbuilding company. So focused is he on succeeding that he forgets his family and their needs. He begins looking for a successor to his wealth and immediately ignores his capable daughter (after all, a woman couldn't possibly manage a business now could she?) in favor of her younger, more frail son whom he is determined to turn into a "real man." When the father's wife dies, he does not allow his poor son to grieve. This causes the sickly youth to become physically weakened; he dies. This does not deter the ice-hearted father who again ignores his daughter and soon marries another woman so she can bear him an heir. Meanwhile the lonely daughter marries the son of her father's rival. The father's new bride is made miserable by his obsession and leaves him. Finally all his grief comes crashing down and in his subsequent rage, the man single-handedly destroys his newest ship, the one that would have brought him even more money for he has finally learned the bitter lesson that love is more important than material gain.
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