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Word Count: 1,125
It is a known fact that greed plays a prominent role in the Americatoday Just pay attention to todays news and you will hear story uponstory about a new scam scheme or scandal Was America always thisselfish Has this generation changed the fabric of our nation Basedfrom my research on greed and its conspicuous role in literature fromthe late 19th early 20th century we are not the first generation ofAmericans to obsesses over the dollar It is in our nature to have awill to survive and do what is necessary to insure that survival Sowhen does survival become luxury and luxury become greed These arequestions that were being addressed by writers of the time wereaddressing with convictionTo understand why greed was such a popular topic during this time wehave to look at the past and see what could have caused this interest tocome about In September of 1873 a financial crisis began with thecollapse of Jay Cooke Co At the time the company was the nationstop investment bank the falling of this company then lead to half ofAmericas railroads to declare bankruptcy The government did little toease the impact of this crisis leaving American families to sufferFurstenberg After this crisis resolved only a short twenty yearslater the Panic of 1893 occurred According to Ohio History Centralthis economic crisis was caused by the collapse of two of the largestAmerican employers The unemployment rate quickly rose along with thehomeless rate due to laid-off workers inability to pay their rents andmortgagesThe crisis ended by 1897 and two years later Frank Norris McTeaguewas published This is a story that is filled to the brim withcharacters that exemplify different kinds of greed There is Maria whois always mumbling about lost fortune Zerkow who has quenchless thirstfor gold Trina who becomes insanely obsessed with her treasure andfinally the books title character who kills his wife when deniedmoney These characters were not just produced out of thin air theyresonate an issue
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