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Word Count: 770
Modern society has become such that an individuals success is gauged by his yearly income One no longer feels satisfaction with helping others curing diseases or being self-sufficient but rather when the yearly income reaches 50000 It has been a long-held belief that as the clich goes money is the root of all evil and in order to succeed in the world one must be ruthless detached and live for the sole purpose of increasing his wealth Mordecai Richler explores this concept that in the quest for financial success one must forsake his moral values in the characters developed in his novel Solomon Gursky Was Here These characters people a world where successes are measured by financial competence in a business setting and values has been corrupted by the universal power of money Although the novel formally traces the life and history of Solomon Gursky whom we eventually discover to be Sir Hyman Kaplansky his brother Bernard Gursky is a much more fitting example of corruption as the mean of success He is old insensitive and egotistical but he is rich and that is the measure by which he is deemed successful Bernard Gursky is described as having ice lodged in his heart glacial ice 113 a permanent chilling of his morals and emotions that is often a by-product of greed Similarly Mr Bernard a an respected because of his affluence and power has not even the moral dignity to express his gratitude at having been thought so kindly of on his seventy-fifth birthday Rather he charged forward to kick Harvey in the shin 115 displaying nothing more than his lack of moral judgement Mr Bernard achieves his wealth or rather the Gursky fortune that his ego has told the world that he envisioned and pursued as a solitary endeavour through the illegal act of bootlegging during the years of Prohibition Exemplary of the power of greed in society is exactly this Bernard Gursky
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