Vanity In — страница 2

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might have been Howard L. Stephenson, could have been very wealthy; however, we never really find out because the Richards never cash the bank notes. Thus the stranger, for the most part, remains a mysterious figure who fuels the corruption of hadleyburg. More than the thirsty desire for revenge of the stranger, and the vanity of the town of Hadleyburg, the real reason for the corruption of Hadleyburg lies in the greed and dishonesty of its citizens. Although a great majority of the town?s citizens proves themselves dishonest, Mr. Richards seems to be one of the for-runners of the dishonest citizens club. We find out very early in the story that he has been holding onto a secret that, in keeping it, meant not only that he was dishonest for not confessing of his being guilty of

some criminal act, but also meant that he allowed an innocent man, an innocent man of God to be exact, suffer a tremendous loss ? one that meant the slandering of his good name as well as temporary exile from the town ? all for something Richards did himself. For an example of greed of the citizens of Hadleyburg, we must revisit our dishnest friend Richards, this time joined with the editor-proprietor of the local paper, Cox. The first instance of their greed came when they both met in the street to try to stop the newspapers from being sent out. Even though they were unsuccessful in this attempt, the fact that they were both willing to not tell anyone else about the money and keep it for themselves says that the both of them are greedy as well as dishonest. Another example of

dishonesty and greed would be the whole test scene between Wilson and Billson. Wilson, having seen Billson?s inability to speak, took advantage of the situation by wooing the crowd with a very elaborate and rhetorical lie. "?for the presentation of my own honor I must speak ? and with frankness. I confess with shame ? and I now beseech your pardon for it ? that I said to the ruined stranger all of the words contained in the test-remark, including the disparaging fifteen." (Perkins 388) After carfully reading the story of and dissecting the characters in "The Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg," by Mark Twain, I was quite impressed with Mr. Twain?s clever ability to develop a quality short story that clearly uncovered the evils that the desire for money can cause.

In conclusion, Mark Twain effectively used characterization to thoroughly support his central theme, which is as follows: when money is obtained through some evil act or dishonest deed, there is no escaping the moral punishment ? even if the acts or deeds are unknown. Fishkin, Shelley F. Man That Corrupted Hadleyburg & Other Stories & Essays, Mark Twain The Oxford University Press (1900): Kent, Rasmussen, R. Mark Twain A to Z: The Essential Reference to His Life & Writings, Oxford University Press, November 1996 LeMaster, J. R. / Wilson, James D., ed. Mark Twain Encyclopedia Garland Publishing, Incorporated, February 1993 Perkins, George; Perkins, Barbara, ed. The American Tradition in Literature, 9th edition McGraw-Hill COLLEGE 1999 O?Jays, The Best of Old School,

"For The Love Of Money" AMW 1999