Thursday, April 1, 2010


Today's class was profoundly interesting, as we watched the silent film "Greed." This film portrays some of the scenes from Frank Norris' novel "McTeague." Throughout the black and white scenes of the movie one notices the presence of color only when viewing gold, or the two canaries. This focus on gold ties directly in with the themes of the novel.

As all things dealing with greed are portrayed with a yellow luminescence in the film, it is no surprise to find that the death valley scene is practically entirely yellow. Notice how McTeague surrounds himself with the yellow sand and heat of the desert. Due to the film "Greed," I was able to draw yet another parallel between McTeague's fate and obsessive qualities.

Because McTeague was obsessed with Trina's 5000 in gold, he went to great lengths to escape his fate. Thus, as he dies in the yellow desert, one may argue that he dies with useless wealth. Furthermore, as the 5000 is wasted in the desert, all things gold may be described as useless in regard to both the novel and the film. This is to say that McTeague, Marcus, and Trina all obsess over a useless cause, and overall, each character dies under the golden glow of greed.


  1. That's perceptive, Seth: the end was indeed almost entirely yellow, and yet there it signifies death rather than wealth, which is "useless" in the desert.

  2. I also thought that this class was intersting. I think that connection made about all the yellow at the end of the movie is intersting. I would agree that the yellow was used to represent the total greed that he died with