Greed is defined as the intense and selfish desire for food wealth, or power. In Frank Norris’ novel of McTeague the nature of greed is evident throughout the work. Many of the characters such as McTeague, Trina, and Zerkow show numerous situations where greed takes over their lives. These situations where we see greed occurs with money, love and… This essay will be discussing the nature of greed that takes place throughout the novel and supported evidence to support this greed that occurs throughout the work. It would be easy for the reader to think that the greed began once Trina won the lottery, but there are a few incidences where the nature of greed can be found. For example, when McTeague was buying his tickets for the theater. McTeague demands and makes quite obvious that he does not want to sit on the side of the orchestra where the drums will be played.
“I want four seats for Monday night in the fourth row from the front and on the right-hand side.”“Right hand as you face the house or as you face the stage?” McTeague was dumbfounded.
“I want to be on the right-hand side…in order to be away from the drums.”
“Well the drums are on the right-hand side of the orchestra as you face the stage…you want to be on the left, then, as you face the house.”
“I want to be on the right-hand side,” persisted the dentist, ( McTeague, 74).
As McTeague carries on further with the ticket man about the tickets, he gets extremley persistent and demanding. McTeague greedy self caused him to not only put on a scene with the ticket man but also show his intense desire of power. Even though he simply wants tickets away from the drums becasue it will bother is head the way he deals with this situation makes him look like a greedy fool. This will be the first of many occasions where we will see this character act out in the nature of greed.
Throughout the novel we see many incidence surrounding the aspect of money and gold. Sometimes when people receive a large sum of money they tend to let it all go to their head. They will spend their money on matericalistic accessories. The relationships they had with friends or family can drasticly change for the worse. Once greed takes over a person there is no telling what they will do or what obstacles they will knock out of their way. On…
…ays. Trina had made him sell them both. He preferred Yale mixture in his pipe; Trina had made him come down to Mastiff, a five-cent tobacco with which he was once contented, but now abhorred. He liked to wear clean cuffs; Trina allowed him fresh pair on Sundays only,” (225). Again, we see McTeague’s greed, he is use to the finest things offered because he could afford them. But as Trina started to cut down on his expenses, he became angered. It’s hard to having enough to get by, then having so much money that you are not sure what to do with, then having to cut down after being use to having the finest of things.
In conclusion, the most obvious theme in the novel McTeauge is the nature of greed. The characters have greed when it comes down to money and power. It is fascinating how a book can show realistically how gaining money or power can change the nicest people into the greedest most selfish people. Like the saying goes, you get an inch, you want to have a mile. Most of the time these people don’t see the destruction they have caused until it is to late.