Last Reviewed on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 490
Richard Power's Gain tells the intertwining stories of the Clare family and the Bodey family. When the goals of one family affect the health and happiness of the other, the reader is left to question when capitalism turns from the American dream to a nightmare.
The Clare family begins with Sarah and Jephthah Clare, immigrants looking for a new life in America. Over the course of the novel, we learn about many generations of the Clare family and some of the key people who helped grow their business.
Jephthah had a gambling problem that urged his exodus from England. He travelled with his family across the ocean and landed in Boston where he established his company. They started by selling Wedgewood china and grew.
Sarah raised her children with an ethical backbone, which she worried her husband lacked.
Robert Ennis was a candle maker from Ireland who happened upon the Clare's front door. The family ultimately tracked him down once they realized he had excellent products and convinced him to work with them.
Anthony Hewitt was an engineer hired by the Clares to build the equipment necessary to manufacture their soap and candles.
Samuel, Benjamin, and Resolve Clare are Jephthah and Sarah's three sons who transform the fledgling import business into the start of the Clare Soap and Chemical Company.
The Bodey family consists of Laura, Don, Ellen, and Tim. Laura and Don are divorced and doing everything they an to come together to raise their daughter, Ellen, and their son, Tim.
Laura is the matriarch of the Bodey clan. She is in her early forties and works as a real estate agent to support her family. She falls ill after her doctors discover a cyst on her ovary that turns out to be malignant. She ultimately succumbs to the disease and dies.
Don remains loyal to Laura and after her cancer diagnosis he...
(The entire section contains 490 words.)
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