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  • Money
    • common element of post-second WW American society: belief wealth was part of American power
    • Joe uses wealth as proof of moral fortitude - Chris is more concerned by the source of the money maybe because he suspects his father
      • "Fourteen months later i had one of the best shops in the state" "loot...there's blood on it"
    • Money causes Steve's imprisonment, Larry's and Joe's suicide. if money is root of happiness in materialistic America it is also root of sadness
      • "Every day three or four men never come back and he sits back there doing business" "Junk 'em, Steve, we can afford it"
    • Kate and Sue warn Ann and Chris they must make money - sense that money can solve all and is only thing need for properous future and happy family
      • "And he's got money. That's important you know"
    • Sue believes wealth is more important than Jim's feeling of personal fulfilment
      • "Research pays twenty-five dollars a week minus laundering the hair shirt"
    • Bank works as symbol for pervasive presence of money. Money symbolises the power characters have over one another. T dictates how much N can spend, N owes K the money and N and Mrs L can't earn big - oppressed
      • "[counts] Ten, twenty, thirty, forty" "You still wouldn't get your IOU back from me now"
    • IOU - stands for pretences, false promises and misuse of power - fitting symbol of Helmer marriage
      • "[...loks at him definatly]...It was me" - she has been brought out of her domestic sphere into a world of "quarterly instalments"
    • In accepting the $1200 from his father-in-law,  man he knew involved in underhand financial dealings, T is being very hypocritical
      • "All your father's irresponsible ways...No religion, no morals"
    • The community is controlled by money and debt, and this proves to dominate relationships until the end of the play
      • "Installing the individuals concerned in nice, well-paid jobs"


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