The subthemes of Money discussed above arise from a a poem about poverty and true friends, a painting from a town market, the lament of a poor boy in love, and a movie about raw greed and financial chicanery. We have a few more subthemes to present that don’t link so directly to any of the four works of art.
W. H. Davies’s poem, Money, O!, points out that money doesn’t buy happiness, but it attracts moochers. The poem offers a romanticized view of the poor whose hearts are ever light compared to the wealthy who coldly frown in part because they can’t trust the genuineness of their ostensible friends. The poem suggests several subthemes of Money.
Poor Side of Town, sung by Johnny Rivers, croons the plight of a young man without money, who loves a young woman who has had her affections toyed with by a guy with money. It’s not a level playing field: a poor wooer pleading for love and loyalty while a rich person (and the allures of wealth) tugs her away. The subthemes of Money are flush.
We see in The Pork Butcher, a slice-of-life painting by Camille Pissarro, a crowded produce market in late 19th century France. Shoppers study the tables of meat and decide whether and how much to buy. Vendors, including the young woman in an apron, prepare their produce for sale and display it. The market enables the exchange of money for goods, which suggests several subthemes of Money.
Wall Street, a movie starring Michael Douglas and Charlie Sheen, glorifies (and horrifies) the obsession with making money that dominates some people, like Gordon Gekko (played by Douglas, who won an Oscar). Here is a trailer. Those for whom “greed is good” strive to amass ever more money; financial specialists such as venture capitalists, buy-out specialists, money managers, and hedge fund managers track their success by the digits of their earnings and investments. Wall Street vividly portrays these and other subthemes of Money.