Characters Discussed

(Great Characters in Literature)

Frank A. Cowperwood

Frank A. Cowperwood, a hard-driving, ambitious financier interested in city transportation systems. Failing socially in Chicago, he tries to gain control of the London underground, at the same time endeavoring to please both his wife and his mistress. He hires an artist, Tollifer, to amuse his wife, while he lives with his mistress. Returning to America, he has an affair with a dancer, Lorna Maris. His ambition is to leave his New York house as a museum and to found a hospital. After his death, his fortune evaporates, and his plans come to nothing. His money never brings him happiness.

Aileen Cowperwood

Aileen Cowperwood, his second wife, whom he neglects. He hires Tollifer to amuse her.

Berenice Fleming

Berenice Fleming, his mistress. After his death, she develops a sense of humanity and founds the hospital he had planned.

Bruce Tollifer

Bruce Tollifer, an artist whom Cowperwood hires to amuse his wife.

Lorna Maris

Lorna Maris, a dancer with whom Cowperwood has an affair.

Lord Stane

Lord Stane, an English financier who becomes interested in Berenice.

Philip Henshaw

Philip Henshaw and

Montague Greaves

Montague Greaves, English engineers who involve Cowperwood in the London underground system.

Dr. Jefferson James

Dr. Jefferson James, Cowperwood’s physician and friend. He becomes head of the hospital that Berenice founds.


(Great Characters in Literature)

Dreiser, Vera. My Uncle Theodore. New York: Nash, 1976.

Gerber, Philip. Theodore Dreiser Revisited. New York: Twayne, 1992.

Gogol, Miriam, ed. Theodore Dreiser: Beyond Naturalism. New York: New York University Press, 1995.

Lingeman, Richard. Theodore Dreiser: At the Gates of the City, 1871-1907. New York: Putnam’s, 1986.

Lingeman, Richard. Theodore Dreiser: An American Journey, 1908-1945. New York: Putnam’s, 1990.

Loving, Jerome. The Last Titan: A Life of Theodore Dreiser. Berkeley: University of California Press, 2005.

Lydon, Michael. “Justice to Theodore Dreiser.” The Atlantic 272 (August, 1993): 98-101.

Pizer, Donald. The Novels of Theodore Dreiser: A Critical Study. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1976.

Riggio, Thomas P. “Following Dreiser, Seventy Years Later.” The American Scholar 65 (Autumn, 1996): 569-577.

Zayani, Mohamed. Reading the Symptom: Frank Norris, Theodore Dreiser, and the Dynamics of Capitalism. New York: Peter Lang, 1999.