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Cosmopolis Novel by Don DeLillo


Globalization refers to the continuous interdependence of world economies, cultures and populations, which has been made possible through carrying out trade across borders involving goods, services, technology, and the flow of investment and information. Through globalization, technology has intensified across borders which have helped in boosting innovation and productivity in emerging markets (SENTISHCHEVA et al. 9). Additionally, technological improvements have proved to be a key driver towards the improvements of the standard of living as evidenced in the Cosmopolis novel whereby Eric packer has a limousine that is so technologically advanced that he uses it as an office. Throughout his writing, DeLillo brings the concept of technology and globalization concerning time. DeLillo divided time into three perspectives: the present, the unreturnable past and the lost future, with the argument that the global capital market has had the biggest influence on time to the point where he suggests that nowadays, money makes time. In the novel, the acceleration caused by the chaotic financial markets is seen as the driving force towards the creation of a timelessness notion.

Cosmopolis paints a picture of a world where someone could become rich and powerful by establishing a digital finance plan. It should be noted that most digital finance plans involve doing business across borders. Additionally, technology is a shared concept that breeds innovation and advancements to make work easier. Through technology and Eric Packer’s embracement of globalization, he creates a connection with the Russian tycoons and the American president, whereby he ventures into the international currency markets and, through its manipulation, rises to become one of the most powerful investors in the planet (Wang 1071). Countries possess different currencies, which are exchanged at different rates in the stock market. The creation of currency exchange was developed to ease transactions in case one travels to a country that uses a different currency. Digitization of the exchange expanded the scope of technological investment across the globe and made the exchange easier. Erick Parker initiated the idea of currency exchange which saw him rise to the top. A perfect example of modern-day currency exchange is a cryptocurrency, which has absorbed many investors.

Technology’s relation to globalization in Cosmopolis is also evident through Erick Packer’s mode of transacting his business involving the international currency exchange, whereby he studies the flow of currency information through advanced communication technology. In today’s world, the use of technology when transacting business is not only fast but reliable. Many years ago, communication used to be made through letters and messengers; both cases were faced with imminent unreliability, whereby the information was open to compromise (Shafer 269). Following the rise of globalization in recent years, which embraced the exchange of technological ideas, the development of computers led to ease of executing daily duties in the comfort of one’s home. Additionally, since Eric Parker’s mode of business transaction involves investors even outside of his own country, that means that the partners from other countries have taken equal measures in embracing technology to enhance the ease and effectiveness of carrying business transactions across borders, evidence of the existence interdependence of technology between countries such as Russia and America.

Parker is seen as someone who is so much obsessed with technology to the point where he depends on it to run his daily activities. His high-tech environment is characterized as evidenced in his limousine, which is custom-made and acts as his important place of work consisting of medleys of data portrayed on the screens and flowing polychrome numbers. The competitive nature of global markets, which constitutes business transactions across different nations, led to the world going evolution of the innovation phase whereby to maximize the work output, investors from different parts of the world came up with ideas such as making home offices which made it possible for one to execute official duties at the comfort of their homes. Erick Parker’s make of his limousine to accommodate the official environment is a clear sign of an imported idea aimed at maximization of profits.

There are multiple ways through which technology relates to globalization in Cosmopolis. Through globalization, there is an exchange of ideas that changes the culture of how people perceive and do things. Technological advancements in the financial markets in Cosmopolis have led to people developing the futuristic aspects whereby the cyber capital transformative move has led to human experience a sense of infinity towards growth and investment geared towards the continuous accumulation of wealth and emotional investment they forget to live through their pasts and present lives. The new shift of events seems to differ from how people used to perceive the world a few years ago, whereby past evaluations were important towards making present and future decisions.

Following globalization and technological advancement, many investors shifted from the traditional way of doing business to the modern way, which involves using online platforms to merchandise their products which is risky, but its success is rewarding. The effects are evident in Cosmopolis, whereby the author says that following the urbanization of capitalism and technological innovation, people who reside in urban areas are caged in the extreme tension both inwardly and outwardly as they fear the collapse of the market as the transactions involved are risky as they can easily lead to future losses as also evidenced with the life of Erick Parker. The latter’s life lacks meaning, and he suffers from severe mental illnesses even though he is portrayed as the eye of a financial storm (Stamenković 256). The author continues to portray his dislike for the new mode of a business transactions involving the globalization of electronic capital. He says that it makes people live in the future illusions because that is where everything moves faster and easier.

Years ago, people used to conduct a transaction through cash. Cash transfers were not an efficient way of carrying out long-distance transactions involving the bulk of the cash. Therefore, the technological development of electronic capital stood to be the only solution towards handling cash transfers and transactions. The presence of electronic capital in Cosmopolis is clear evidence of the integration of technology in the world of capital due to globalization. The author continues to argue that the interaction of technology and capital is inseparable. However, even though electronic capital has proved its efficiency, its consequences on human mental wellness are diverse as one starts to lose touch with reality and starts to have future illusions, resulting in modern-day investors developing a sense of timelessness.


Technology relates to globalization in Cosmopolis in multiple ways. First is the aspect of doing business by a character such as Erick Parker, who uses technology to carry out currency exchange across boundaries to Russia. Secondly, the effects of globalization are evidenced in the technology embraced by Parker in his limousine, which he sometimes uses as his office. Finally, technology evidence relating to globalization has been portrayed whereby Cosmopolis has embraced the digital currency, which is used to carry out transactions such as exchange across borders. Globalization and technology have proved to be two inseparable aspects of Cosmopolis.

Works Cited

SENTISHCHEVA, ELENA ALEXANDROVNA, and TIMOTHY HAGAN ACQUAH. “Globalization of the world processes: the essence and directions.” In МОЛОДЕЖЬ И СИСТЕМНАЯ МОДЕРНИЗАЦИЯ СТРАНЫ, pp. 9-11. 2020.

Wang, Jun. “Technology and the Predicament of Time in Don DeLillo’s Cosmopolis.” Theory and Practice in Language Studies 8.8 (2018): 1069–1073.

Stamenković, Slađana. “Human Identity in Hyper-Reality: The Hyperreal Self in Don Delillo’s Cosmopolis and The Silence.” Belgrade English Language and Literature Studies 13.1 (2021): 243-264.

Shafer, Joseph R. “Barry Sheils and Julie Walsh, eds., Narcissism, Melancholia and the Subject of Community.” (2018): 266-271.


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