Avarice by Charles Baxter: My Review

"This is how I know she'll take care of me once I'm incapacitated. Slowly, on my bad knees, I get down too. How lovely is her madness to me now."

- From the Text

The story has insights on death, old age, death experience and avarice. Dolores, being an old woman, sometimes gets lost in thoughts on the future and is constantly ponders over approaching death. The story also highlights how generally people tend to develop a religious inclination when death seems to approach in old age.

Mike, Dolores’ husband, was run over and murdered by a bourgeoisie lady in her Mercedes while Corrine’s pension was taken away by capitalists and Jeremy gets angry over capitalists killing elephants for ivory, out of which they carve little buddhas and sell to Americans. All of this is to say that the story seems anticapitalist since Capitalism is constantly mentioned as a socio-economic system based against the teachings of Jesus and Christianity since it targets hoarding wealth more which turns people into arrogant and inhumane narcissists.

The first society created by the apostles of Jesus is described as socialist “All that believed were together and had all things common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all, as every man had need ” (Acts 2:44-45)

All religions if studied well stand against the capitalistic logic of competition and greed.

  • Topics I explored through this story.
    • How avarice functions through power structures of the neoliberal economy.
    • Old age often brings people closer to religions.
    • The murder of someone you love is a hard thing to pass. It stays with you for the rest of your life. As it was for Dolores.
    • The unjust system turned Dolores to murderous intentions but she turned the other cheek in the end.

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