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Character Evolution of the American Business Magnate and His Linguistic Representation in T. Dreiser’s Story The Victor. P. 99–107

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Section: Philology




Elena V. Kobeleva
Lomonosov Moscow State University 1 Leninskie gory, Moscow, 119991, Russian Federation; e-mail:


The businessman as a professional is of particular interest in the modern world. The United States of America, being an economic superpower, is considered to be a country of business and businessmen. That is why American literary discourse is rich in business characters, both dealers and business magnates. This article dwells on the evolution of the American business magnate in the satirical literary discourse of the early 20th century and analyses linguistic means of his representation. The author studied The Victor, one of the most famous short stories by Theodore Dreiser, a great master of critical realism. Through the main character of the story, J.H. Osterman, the author creates a psychological portrait of a businessman, shows his evolution as an individual and as a professional, analyses his career progress from a poor farmer to a multimillionaire and an oil king. The study showed that the main means for obtaining the desired result in business are deception and trickery, as evidenced by the author’s metaphors and lexemes belonging to the lexico-semantic field trick. The satirical effect in the story is achieved by the author’s deglorification of the main character, J.H. Osterman, and of other entrepreneurs hunting for money.


language and culture studies, satirical discourse, evolution of American business magnate
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