Dombey and Son follows life of Paul Dombey, a wealthy owner of a shipping company. Paul's dream is to have a son to continue his business. His wife dies in childbirth and Paul ends up with a daughter instead of the desired son. The book elaborates on a number of socially significant themes. In particular the book deals with the then-prevalent common practice of arranged marriages for financial gain. Other themes to be detected within this work include social inequality, familial relationships, and as ever in Dickens, betrayal and deceit and the consequences thereof.