Greed In Jackson's Short Story 'Button'

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The idea that greed can make you do things that are not what you would usually do is conveyed as Mrs. Lewis is persistent in trying to convince her husband that pressing the button might be a good idea. This is shown in the short story “Button, Button” after the offer of the button is presented and Mr. Lewis rejected the offer and told Mr. Steward to take the button with him and ripped up his business card. The actions of Mr. Lewis shows that he was obviously against the idea of pressing the button. However, given the offer Mrs. Lewis just will not let it go. She constantly keeps trying to persuade her husband, as we can see by her words. Shirley Jackson tells us, “Norma was still sitting on the sofa. "What do you think it was?" she asked….She…show more content…
Lewis ends up choosing to press the button even though her husband has voiced his disapproval. After contemplating the idea to press the button she decides to press it because she believes there is no reason to stress out over something that probably will not end up working. Jackson tells us, “She stared at it for a long time before taking the key from its envelope and removing the glass dome. She stared at the button. How ridiculous, she thought. All this furor over a meaningless button.” This shows that all the worrying she had done when choosing to press the button was not needed because it was most likely fake. Therefore, she decides to press it, and the second she presses it she knows how wrong of a decision that was as the guilt hits her as soon as she presses it. Shirley Jackson provides us with the quote, “Reaching out, she pressed it down. For us, she thought angrily. She shuddered. Was it happening? A chill of horror swept across her..” This tells us that that when she finally decides to press the button she instantly knew she had made a wrong decision and realizes something bad is about to happen. As a result to her selfish actions her husband ends up being killed and his life insurance policy provides her with the $50,000, this was all because of greed. She was upset because she realized that her selfishness killed her husband and she was overcome with grief. Shirley Jackson said, “She felt
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