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Word Count: 462
Themes in American Literature Money The acquisition of wealth can greatly affect ones future Money determines where a person is able to live what school they attend and countless other factors American literature reflects the populations beliefs in what money can bring to its owner For instance in a typical American fairy tale the hero may be poor at the beginning but once he succeeds he becomes rich and lives happily ever after During the twenties and thirties authors who were disillusioned by what wealth brought wrote stories about corruption by money In Death of a Salesman The Old Man and the Sea Of Mice and Men and The Great Gatsby money plays a part in the demise of one or all of the main characters In Death of a Salesman Willie Loman believes that being well liked and having money is everything He is unable to separate himself from his paycheck As a result when he is unable to make the kind of money he used to and is fired he begins to contemplate suicide and slowly loses his mind in the process In a bit of irony Willies wife Linda is able to make the final mortgage payment on the day of his funeral While money may not be one of the driving forces in The Old Man and the Sea it certainly is a factor The old mad realizes that catching this fish could mean quite a bit of money as well as respect for bringing such a large fish in He could have given it up at any point but chooses to sit it out and as a result the large fish is eaten away by sharks and the man dies In Of Mice and Men Lennie and George dream of owning their own farm but cannot afford to put a down payment on the one they have in mind They work on a farm and slowly save
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