Greed and Money
People say that money is the root of all evil. In the short story “The Diamond as Big as the Ritz,” by F. Scott Fitzgerald, Braddock Washington acquires a frightening sense of power along with his fortunes. He represents an exact image of how money causes people to become greedy, selfish, and cruel.
No one human being is perfect and sometimes we are caught up or overwhelmed in our emotions. Some individuals will sacrifice anything for money and power. In the story, Braddock Washington is described to be the richest man in the world. He inherited a diamond mountain from his father, Fitz-Norman Washington. Later he enlisted his brother to help direct his slaves, but with selfishly wicked motivation, “he was compelled, due to a series of unfortunate complications, to murder his brother, whose unfortunate habit of drinking himself into an indiscreet stupor had several times endangered their safety” (194). He went as far to kill his own flesh and blood to save his money and power.
Braddock Washington inherited his fathers selfish traits along with his money. His son, Percy, explains that there are “half a dozen anti-aircraft guns” arranged around their house to shoot down any planes that may pass overhead. Braddock held no guilt in killing or imprisoning these innocent people. The poor souls who were captured were held for the remainder of their lives with little chance of escape. He justified his ways in the belief that “Cruelty doesn’t exist where self-preservation is involved” (200). This is probably the only way he could fool himself so he could sleep at night. His respect for life was of least concern when money was involved. Mr. Washington reenacted this cruel and selfish attitude throughout the story.
The entire family treated human lives as if they had been placed on earth solely for their own personal entertainment. For example, John T. Unger, a friend of Percy’s, was invited to stay; littl...
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