Friday, April 08, 2011

G is for Greed

I'm greedy, I freely admit it. I love all the stuff that's bad for me: chocolate in excess, cheese in excess, pasta in get the idea.

Greed takes many forms and, so I'm told, often leads to corruption. I don't actually think my choco/cheese/pasta/allthingsnice greed is going to lead to corruption, at least I hope not, but greed for money and power will.

I live in a country that's on the verge of bankruptcy. Strange that, considering:
a) the mammoth salaries many national CEOs are taking home,
b) the Rich List that grows ever larger whenever the country receives European funds for "needy" projects,
c) the politician whose whole family, including unborn child and three hundred year-old resurrected great-grandmama, rake in astronomical amounts for not-doing-much-at-all in the public sector. 

And we need a bail-out? Don't make me laugh. Jeez...

OK. Rant's over. Just give me a moment to get my breath and wipe my brow and we'll go onto a great theme for literature.

What's the first book that comes to mind when you think of that word? Lord of the Rings. Yep, there's greed in there alright gollum. The Pearl by John Steinbeck. Oh boy, talk about corruption and survival, just my sort of themes. In fact most of John Steinbeck's novels revolve around greed. I think he was making a point, don't you?

Greed raises its ugly head in many fairy stories, especially those by the Brothers Grimm. Have you ever read, The Fisherman and his Wife ? You probably have which means until half an hour ago I was the only person in the world who hadn't.  

Tell me, my lovely followers, what are you reading at the moment - and does it have greed in it?

Writers and authors - are you working on a WIP? Is there any greed in it? If not, perhaps there should be.


  1. The greediest novel I can think of, off the top of my head, is The Debt to Pleasure by John Lanchester. Being a greedy person myself, I gulped it down and wanted more!

  2. Sad that most don't go into politics to make a difference anymore...

  3. Politics makes no sense.

    You make a great point about greed in literature, though--greedy characters do make a story more realistic.

    I've never read The Fisherman and his Wife. :P

  4. Interesting discussion!

    My stories are mostly based in the English Victorian Era, when greed was really becoming en vogue - their aggressive colonialism/expansionism can be seen as greed for land, resources, power, domination, lifestyle... phew.

    What I think is also interesting in novels is the underlying reason *why* characters are greedy... some sort of deprivation as a child? A fear of becoming poor? A desire to be respected and admired?

  5. There are loads of novels with greed in them, and I'm not sure if it's intentional or not, with some of them. Take Twilight...I found the lot of them to be the most greedy individuals!! But, I don't think they're meant to be. *shrugs*

    Right now I'm devouring manga, and yeah there's greed in Death Note, the one I'm reading now. They want this book thingy that can kill

  6. I too think its a pity that many don't go into politics because when I wrote a post called: Can SA Politics be Sexy? I was basically pointing out these problems here too and I'm oceans away from you. But it's not for me either, just not sexy, not like writing.
    I haven't read the Fisherman book either so here's another one.
    I'm reading Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison and it is greed galore. Charlotte made a good point about the "why's". they are the most fascinating and at some point you end up empathizing with the greedy person or in the least understand characters you thought you'd hate to the end.

  7. Nice to meet you through the A-Z challenge! Hope to see you around!

  8. Hey! Where'd my reply to Deborah and Alex go yesterday? Eaten by the cyber monster. No problem.

    Thanks Deborah - sounds a good book if you recommend it.
    Alex, too true unfortunately.
    Golden Eagle - hope you enjoy the Fisherman and his wife!
    Charlotte. Interesting point. What makes dictators greedy? Why do people want to cheat others to get power and success? Personally I'd hate to run a country LOL. Any psychologists or psychiatrists out there?
    April. I suppose greed is just inherent in us that it comes to the fore no matter what we write.
    Wendy. LOL - do you think politicians think they're sexy?
    I can't think of one... Oh Toni Morrison. I reckon that anyone with her upbringing is allowed to be greedy - problem is, she's often the victim of it not the creator. Yes, I'm fascinated by Charlotte's point about "why".
    Hi Bz - Happy A-Z Challenge. I'll be around, I always am :-)

    Thank you all so much for posting.

  9. Good G word post. greed is not a nice emotion but there are people out there who are, but as I was brought up to believe there is good in everyone.

    Thanks for the comment.

  10. Norway is not any better, for one of the richest countr ies in the world we sure do not see any of it. Don't get me started. I think everyone needs to be greedy at times. I like your post and I would love to hear you sing...ha ha ha...can't be that bad. Thanks for posting a comment on my blog, off to snoop around.

  11. Lovely to see you here Yvonne and Siv. I also try to see the good in everyone...but sometimes it's difficult.
    Siv, you really, really, don't want to hear me sing. It'll HEX you off the planet - and you'll willingly go LOL.


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