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Character Analysis of McTeague Frank Norriss novel McTeague explores the decay of society in the early twentieth century Set in San Francisco a place where anything can happenwhere fact is often stranger than fiction McElrath Jr 447 Norris explores themes of greed and naturalism revealing the darker side of human psyche What can be found most disturbing is the way that Norris portrays McTeague in shocking detail as nothing more than a brute animal at his core Norris explores the greed and savage animalism that lurks inside McTeague McTeague is first portrayed as a gentle giant The reader is introduced to McTeague as he sits in his dental parlor smoking his cigar and drinking his steam beer He is described as a tall slowly moving man McTeagues mind was as his body heavy slow to act sluggish Yet there was nothing vicious about the man Altogether he suggested the draft horse immensely strong stupid docile obedient Norris 7 Immediately one can visualize McTeague a large lumbering mass going about his daily activities in quiet solitude The dental practice that McTeague runs provides him with a sound income and in the first few chapters of the novel he desires nothing more out of life than to practice what he loves When he opened his Dental Parlors he felt that his life was a success that he could hope for nothing better Norris 7 Upon meeting Trina his best friend Marcuss love interest who comes to him because of a broken tooth his psyche begins to change and animalistic feelings begin to well up inside McTeague The male virile desire in him tardily awakened aroused itself strong and brutal It was resistless untrained a thing not to be held in a leash an instant Norris 25 Norris uses the animal imagery to describe the deterioration of McTeagues human qualities When McTeague tells Marcus of his intentions with Trina there is a palpable
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