Books and Movies Reviews

Politics in The Big Money

Politics is one of the major themes of “The Big Money” because
politics, and people’s reactions to political leaders, were such a big part
of the early 20th century.This was a time when workers were fighting for
their rights all around the world, and sometimes, they paid the ultimate
price for their beliefs, they died for their cause.It was also a time of
war, and recovery from war.Many returning war heroes could not find jobs,
while the rich and powerful just got richer and more powerful.It was a
time of great contrasts in America, as this novel clearly shows.
In “The Big Money,” character Charley Anderson is a war hero who can
pretty much write his own ticket after World War I, but he is a weak man
who does not use his advantages effectively.He is an alcoholic and a
womanizer, “he had to have some kind of a girl” (Passos 323-324), and he
illustrates the effect war had on many people of the times, it ruined their
lives.Charley is a weak man, and part of his weakness is that he has no
care about anyone else but himself.He is typical of the time, and the
author uses him as an example of how not to live your life.Mary French,
on the other hand, is a woman who cares about others and their welfare more
than she cares about herself.The author shows her ” working away at her
desk with her tongue bitter and her mouth dry from too much smoking would
look at her yellow stained fingers and push her untidy uncurled hair off her
forehead and feel badly dressed and faded and unattractive ” (Passos 448).
She gives up her own happiness to fight the political bosses of the time,
who want to keep the unions from gaining power and money.Money is at the
root of this book, because money fuels the politicians’ and their
lifestyles, and money fuels the ambitions of Charley and the other main
character, Margo Dowling.Mary is idealistic and believes she can make a

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