Greed: Narcissism and Young Man

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September 25, 2005

Greed can be any person's eventual downfall. Greed does not discriminate between race, wealth, age or sex. According to Webster's Dictionary, Greed means "excessive desire, especially for wealth". The identified characters will have their lives evaluated, and how greed has caused them to suffer a great downfall. The stories I have derived the characters from are "A Rose for Emily", "Good Country People", "Story of An Hour", "The Necklace" and "Godfather Grimm". In "A Rose for Emily" Miss Emily Grierson grows to be extremely selfish and covetous after her father dies. Her greed begins to surface when she denies her fathers death, and refuses that he be buried for three days for fear of losing him. Emily has soon fallen in love with a "Yankee" by the name of Homer Barron, and fears that he may someday leave her. Due to her insecurity, she poison's her love interest so he that he will never have the opportunity to part from her. Miss Emily's' desire for him to always be with her has driven her to be somewhat insane, as the townspeople described. After Emily dies, her servant lets her friends and family in to her home to pay their respects. To their surprise, they find the body of her lover rotting away in her bedroom. The room in which he laid was decorated like a honeymoon suite. Next to his head were a few of Emily's hairs on the pillow. Miss Emily only cared for her own happiness, not what anyone else thought, including Homer. Emily's greed causes her take her lover's life just to satisfy her own. Not only is this insane, it is also cruel to just leave Homers family wondering what happened to him. Emily poisoned someone, just to calm her insecurities. Greed has consumed the lives of not only one, but two of the characters in "Good Country People". Joy Hulga Hopewell is an extremely selfish, egotistical and of course greedy character. She is crude to her mother in an extremely personal way; a good example is that she renames herself to Hulga from joy simply to spite her. Until Hulga meets Manly Pointer, she couldn't care for anyone other than herself. Manly Pointer appears to be a simple Christian man and Hulga's mission is to strip away his Christian beliefs to prove that she has power over others. Hulga desires to pursue Manly Pointer by seducing him, and wiping away all of his beliefs. Unfortunately, this bible selling Christian turns out to be something completely opposite. Hulga is too used to being the one in control, however Pointer quickly puts her in her place and makes her realize that she is not so smart. Manly Pointer is a con-artist in that he keeps his whiskey inside a bible, and carrys around a box of contraceptives. But looking at Manly Pointer, he is also greedy in that he seduces women to take away their most prized possessions, like Hulga's leg. Manly Pointer tells us that he uses a different name at each home that he steals his prized possessions from. This is way he cannot be tracked, therefore leaving women behind to suffer and feel stupid for falling into his trap. Hulga's craving led her into a dangerous situation, which in turn gives Manly Pointers greed the chance to take her leg, not caring what happens to Hulga. In a way Manly and Hulga are too much alike, they are similar to savages; she embezzles people's intellect and confidence, and he pockets prosthetics. If it was not for Hulga's greed, she would not have lost her leg in the first place, which she describes as being her soul. Mathilde Loisel is another example of a woman whose voracity has caused her a great downfall. She is very egotistical and snobby, yet miserable at the same time. "Mathilde feels trapped in a provincially dull existence, made worse by the solid mediocracy of her husband" says Bruce L. Edwards(1597). Mme Loisel dreams of wearing beautiful dresses and becoming friends with the rich and beautiful. When she finally has the...
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