In Dombey and Son, what is the importance of the redeeming power of love?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In Dombey and Son, Dickens defines the importance of love's redemption as essential to one's place in the world.  Dickens writes, “for not an orphan in the wide world can be so deserted as the child who is an outcast from a living parent's love.”   This helps to highlight why Dickens places such a primacy on love and the redeeming power within it. The denial of love can estrange an individual in a powerful manner.  However, its presence can move individuals towards redemption.  Dickens shows this in how love is the force that transforms Dombey.  

Dombey has lived his life with a self- assuredness that has denied the transformative power of love.  It is at the end of the narrative where love has redeemed him.  Love has transformed him from one who would shun a child, to one who understands the power of love that exists between father and child. Dombey is saved by love. He understands that it is love, the bond that exists which binds people and connects them to one another, that enabled his daughter to continue to love him.  Despite his own callousness and his own cruelty to her, one that literally made her an "outcast," Dombey is saved by the love that never left.  It is a power that redeems him and makes his life one worthy of living.

Dickens depicts the redeeming nature of love as the antithesis to the isolating condition of economic accumulation.  Part of Dombey's own condition of being was one tethered to commerce and wealth.  This force isolates him, precipitating his belief that he does not need anyone.  Dickens shows the importance of love.  It is love that causes his redemption as a force that counteracts the alienation that modern wealth causes within individuals. For Dickens, it is the redemption of love that not only saves Dombey but can also save his beloved London, as well.

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dua16's profile pic

dua16 | eNotes Newbie

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the importance of love is very important especially between a father and a son as referred to novel dombey loved his son.

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