The portrayal of Drouet is intentionally sketchy and shallow, for no subtleties or complexities of action or motivation lie beneath his flashy facade. He is generous to Carrie, but his generosity springs from his natural egotistical attempt to make Carrie a creature of his desire. Although he is good-natured and sympathetic, he is prevented from understanding Carrie by his own immaturity. While Carrie and Hurstwood learn to some extent at least that material possessions and smart appearances are false signs of a person's worth, Drouet continues to embrace the materialistic values responsible for Carrie's heartsore sadness and Hurstwood's suicide.
Drouet's function in the novel is to serve as a fixed point for measuring the changes that come over Carrie and Hurstwood. He is the first person Carrie meets when she leaves Columbia City and very nearly the last one she speaks with at the end of the novel. Ironically, it is Drouet who affects Carrie's life most drastically, planning her debut as an actress, introducing her to Hurstwood, and above all, making her aware of herself as a woman; nevertheless, Drouet himself remains unchanged and insensitive to the changes he has wrought.