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Thread: McTeague

  1. #1

    McTeague

    In my opinion McTeague is a very unusual book. I think that it is a very strange book that you dont really know whats gonna happen. I like how the author used the characters to kind of show how everyone in the book is weird in their own way. The author of this book uses very broad racist views of the characters. Like the jews being greedy, the german male being very agressive, and irish as big and clumsy. In the book all of the characters were mainly obssesed with money. Like how zerkow marries maria just to hear her gold stories and how marcus tries to kill mcteague over money. The author also uses a great deal of symbolism when he talks about the canary and mcteague and all the things he had from his past life. The only bad thing about this book is that almost all of the characters in the book are killed and you are left wondering. All of their deaths were brought because of a stupid obssesion of money and not knowing when to just give it up and live instead of holding onto it and dying.

  2. #2
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    McTeague is one of the most interesting yet disturbing books i've ever read. In my opinion, it is a book that is very spontaneous and spastic, because no one will ever figure out whats gonna happen next. It's disturbing in the sense that a polish Jew wants to marry a half-retarded housekeeper just for her gold plates, an Irish man wanting to kiss a woman on a dentist chair while on an anesthetic, and the main issue in the book is money. It's creepy, also, in the sense that Mcteague is biting at Trina's fingers just to get her to give him the money, and she has to get her fingers amputated. The author uses a great amount of symbols in this book.

  3. #3
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    I agree, McTeague is a very unusual book. The way characters are put into certain situations and you automatically think they will react in one way, they end up reacting in a totally strange way. Such as the incident where McTeague begins to abuse Trina all over the fact he just needs money. The fact that he bites on her fingers, and starts to pinch her is very crazy. Another situation is were Trina begins to basically fall in love with the money, and she treats it as if it's a human being. She polishes it, kisses it, and sleeps with it as if it had feelings. That is very strange indeed. Off that subject onto another, The way the book is based off of a social darwinist way is very different. The way he uses symbols to summarize and conclude the characteristics of the characters was very unique. The ending of this book I would have to agree with you on. The fact that the book is a cliff-hanger, it leaves you wondering what al could've and would've happened.

  4. #4
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    I agree the book is very weird and unusual because, in the book they did a lot of crazy things. I like how the book is not like other books, for example when you can kinda expact what going to happen next. I also like how there was a lot of action, like when they got into a fight, and when Macteague and Marcus got into somewhat of an argument over Maria. Another way the book is different from other is how Macteague fell inlove with Maria and they got married but after she won the lottery all he wanted was they money. They way they treated their wifes in the story was also unususl because they (Zerwok, and Macteague) killed their wifes. Macteague was very abusive because when Maria refused to give him money she would hit her or threaten her or bite on her fingers. Their wasn't much Maria could do because she was scared of Macteague because she knew he would hurt her.Zerwok on the other hand just killed his wife and left her, and he also left town. Another thing that was weird was when Maria polished her money and slept naked with the money, she loved her money way more than Macteague. The way Maria lost her life was also horrible/ weird because Macteague was absolutly crazy for killing Maria just to get to her money and for leaving her dead in a kindergarden. One last thing I thought was crazy was how their whole relationship was because at first Maria was his everything/ his world, but when it came down to her money he forgot about everything even how much he lover Maria.

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    I also think that the book is kind of strange, but in a weird way it is kind of interesting. I liked the way that Frank Norris described everything with a lot of details about everything. It was as if he made it so detailed so that you can kind of make a movie in your head while you are reading. Also the book was very suspenful and it made me want to keep reading more and more of it. The characters were not that wealthy and working class and he made them have this big problem with money when Trina wins the lottery. All the fight scenes and arguments were all because of the money. To me, Marcus was the one that caused all of the trouble. He was the one that first introduced McTeague to Trina and then he got jealous of him because she got all the money and he thought he deserved it. The rest of the book is all about arguing about the money between Trina and McTeague because she was becoming too greedy with her money. Norris, being a darwinist, made her be greedy with her money because she is polish and Poles have the stereotype of saving. All the problems with all of the charachters in the story are based on their DNA. Darwinists believe that all that there is wrong with them is because of their ancestors. That is why all of Tina's and McTeagues's problems started. According to Norris they are all messed uo because of their DNA.

  6. #6
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    I believe the book Mcteague is probably one of my favorite and most memorable books i have ever read. I think it is my favorite book because of the amazing use of symbolism and the portrayal of human nature, greed and corruption. Mcteague is probably my most memorable because of the characters and dialogue in the book. Frank Norris has also spot on described everything in 1800s San Francisco, and the people of this time period. Mcteague is also one the most legendary examples of darwinism, because of its use of stereotypes, racism and other social darwinistic views are so obviously used in the books writing. Norris also captures my mind whether its describing scenery in San Francisco or describing fight scenes or moments of intensity between the characters. This book also had some crazy weird moments like when Norris described the way Trina viewed her money as more of a husband than Mcteague because he was not producing income to help them sustain their lifestyle. Another clearly disturbing scene is when the Zerkow murdered Maria because he went crazy, and his hallucinations and dreams of him with Maria's legendary gold dishes. This book also inspired the movie Greed which was a silent film but is a legendary movie because of its history as being that really long film to some people. Greed was very detailed as it went into scenes not even in the book but loosely mentioned in the book, and the locations were spot on excellent as it was exactly what the books locations were based off of or pictured looking extremely similar. Mcteague is a very exciting book that had its moments of intense violence and its moments of disturbance but past all of that I really enjoyed it and hope to read more books like it in the future.

  7. #7
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    McTeague is a very unusual yet very interesting novel. This book had many unexpected events that ultimately lead to all of their deaths. Money was a the biggest factor that lead to all of the fighting, murdering, and hatred they all portrayed against each other. Many of the characters in this book valued money even more than their own lives. This is also very stupid in a way because there is no point in having money if you are dead. Frank Norris was basically saying that they had no control over their lives but the money did. An example of this is when Trina was sleeping with the money. She was treating the money not as a simple piece of metal or paper, but as something characteristics. There is nothing she loved more than the money. Frank Norris also used social darwinism in this book. An example of this is how the swedish tend to hoard. Trina would not let her money be spent but just kept hoarding or saving it up. All of the characters in the story displayed some sort of social darwinism and money affected them all in a way.

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    McTeague

    McTeague is a very interesting book. I thought it was strange how Frank Norris actually believed that people inherited personality traits. The book McTeague clearly shows that. He creates many stereotypical characters. McTeague is a very disturbing book because the detail Frank Norris uses to describe the horrible things that happen throughout the story. This was fun read but it is probably not one of my favorites I am more into adventure books like Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn I enjoy the humor and the crazy schemes of the children. But McTeague was definitely a change and was very very interesting.

  9. #9
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    Norris believed in writing novels to show the effect of environment on individuals. I like Norris but then I'm a Teuchtar who spent almost all his working life amongst the proletariat

  10. #10
    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
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    Norris was actually concerned to show the effect of inherited characteristics on individuals and society in general. This was due to the influence of Emil Zola's naturalism which was at its peak during the time that Norris was writing.Whether his readers accept that theory or not is one thing but there is also the mysticism that is shown by the strange sense of nemesis that McTeague feels as he listens for something unknown and unseen as his far distant pursuers continue moving in his direction even though they don't know where he is.
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

    "Je crois que beaucoup de gens sont dans cet état d’esprit: au fond, ils ne sentent pas concernés par l’Histoire. Mais pourtant, de temps à autre, l’Histoire pose sa main sur eux." Michel Houellebecq.

  11. #11
    Registered User Emil Miller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NickPrim View Post
    . This book also inspired the movie Greed which was a silent film but is a legendary movie because of its history as being that really long film to some people. Greed was very detailed as it went into scenes not even in the book but loosely mentioned in the book, and the locations were spot on excellent as it was exactly what the books locations were based off of or pictured looking extremely similar. Mcteague is a very exciting book that had its moments of intense violence and its moments of disturbance but past all of that I really enjoyed it and hope to read more books like it in the future.
    Here's an interesting clip about the making of Greed and what happened to it.

    http://youtu.be/6Ek7bm5IRzA
    "L'art de la statistique est de tirer des conclusions erronèes a partir de chiffres exacts." Napoléon Bonaparte.

    "Je crois que beaucoup de gens sont dans cet état d’esprit: au fond, ils ne sentent pas concernés par l’Histoire. Mais pourtant, de temps à autre, l’Histoire pose sa main sur eux." Michel Houellebecq.

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