Dombey and Son

Dombey's Lack of Compassion 12th Grade

Narcissism, defined as extreme selfishness combined with a lack of empathy for others, is the exact trait which Dombey exhibits in the short story. Immediately after his wife has given birth to their son, he displays his indifference towards her by solely focusing on his son who must follow his legacy. Viewing his son as a tool for future business deals rather than caressing his new born and enjoying his moment of birth, further validates his own selfish agenda. In the excerpt, the author displays his disapproval of Dombey’s self-centered nature as well as his pity towards Dombey’s son and wife through a variety of figurative devices.

The author insures the reader is aware of their distaste of Dombey throughout the excerpt of the story. The passage begins with the a description of the setting in which Dombey, the son, and the Mrs. Dombey are relaxing. While “Dombey sat in the corner of the darkened room...Son lay tucked up warm in a little basket bedstead.” The reader can immediately recognize the tension in the room as well as the indifference from the father, Dombey, who distanced himself from his newly born child. Usually a new parent will smother their infant with attention and love, however Dombey appears to be completely...

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