In “The Fallacy of the Future,” Don introduces this idea that Alec Charnoble is a manipulative, scheming man that brings together three easily manipulated people. While that suits Charnoble’s description, does it fit in with Alec’s description?
Within the first meeting, Alec Charnoble becomes known as Charnoble (pg 24). It’s easy to leave him as Charnoble through the novel, as the constant connection with being intentionally unprepared for profit (the Chernobyl accident in Russia). That’s certainly the way he’s described in various points through the novel. Upon hearing the voicemails that he leaves Mitchell following Tammy, Jane describes him as “that monster” (pg 203). He even is woefully under-prepared, forgetting to sign his own paperwork to protect FutureWorld like they protect all other companies (pg 271). However, Nathaniel Rich also calls him Alec in some cases. This Alec is usually brought up in dialouge between characters, as opposed to being Charnoble when mentioned in the third person perspective. It’s Alec that gives Mitchell the mail on the day that Mitchell realizes Elsa is in the hospital (pg. 89). Alec and Charnoble both celebrate with Mitchell after his successful meeting with Ms. D’Espy (pg 137). Jane’s zeal for Future Days reminds Mitchell of Alec, despite them just discussing how Charnoble’s using Mitchell for publicity, just like Jane would (pg. 206).
These two names creates a Jekyll and Hyde approach to Alec Charnoble. On one hand, he’s portrayed as the dangerous side of greed, nearly killing Jane, Tewillinger and Mitchell by asking them to work through Hurricane Tammy. On the other hand, he’s another coworker, a guy that wants to get ahead in life and figured out a way to make tons of money. This duality of his character shows the positive and negative force of wealth, something that never really factors into Mitchell’s life throughout the story. Alec wants to have a successful company, while Charnoble’s willing to profit off of worst case scenarios, offering actual protection almost as a side note to the legal protection.