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Word Count: 1,103
McTeague a novel written at the turn of the century by Frank Norris is a classic example of naturalist writing This novel is written with the harsh realities that were this time period There are many themes that occur in naturalism Some of them that appear in this novel are greed lust strife as well as Darwinism and animal imagery All of these themes help Norris describe with vivid detail his tragic account of human degradation One of the forces that drives many characters such is Zerkow Trina and McTeague is greed Zerkow is an old man who has gold fever All he ever thinks of is where he can get some more gold from When he hear Maria telling her story of the gold bowls and dinner service he is immediately interested On page 38 it reads It was impossible to look at Zerkow and not know instantly that greed-inordinate insatiable greed -was the dominate passion of the man This shows us that greed is what turns this guys wheels He ends up marrying her only with the hope that she might be able to locate these missing riches When she is unable to find the gold he becomes mad at her and slits her throat before killing himself It is possible that he put so much of himself into his greed that when he could not quell it with the gold he felt his life was not worth living Trina shows how greedy she is when she wins the 5000 in the lottery She will not spend any money where it is needed and because of this the couples standards of living decline Although Trina and Zerkows greed for riches was almost identical Zerkow is vied as a lost soul yet Trina is viewed as a proper young lady This is
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