Sherman McCoy
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Sherman McCoy

The Bonfire of the Vanities

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About Him

Grew Up… always trying to imitate his father (yet consistently failing). Sherman grew up with a golden spoon in his mouth, yet his father always did his best to instill lessons about hard work and dignity. Although he followed in his father’s footsteps as a bond trader, he never seemed to pick up on the moral complexities of the marketplace. 

Living… in the 1980’s in a 14-room, $6 million Manhattan apartment with his wife Judy and their small daughter.

Profession… bond trader. In the words of journalist Peter Fallow, Sherman is a “master of the universe,” a Wall Street trader who handles hundreds of millions of dollars each day. In essence, Sherman is a glamorized salesman: he markets high-stakes deals to his wealthy clients and, in the words of his wife, “picks up all of the crumbs.”

Relationship Status… involved in an affair with the spoiled and inarticulate Maria, a southern belle who seems to only take an interest in money and high culture. After Judy learns that her husband is having an affair, she begins to treat him like the heartless man that he is.

Challenge… keeping his life from falling apart. Not only is Sherman facing a crisis at work and at home, but he is also in the middle of a citywide scandal. Sherman finds himself with blood on his hands after his involvement in a hit-and-run in the South Bronx, making him the perfect target for a district attorney who’s seeking reelection.

Personality… greedy, duplicitous, and desperate. Sherman is, above all, a bit of a wimp. Although he constantly lies, cheats and makes mistakes, he doesn’t seem able to own up to any of it.  

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