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Materialism And The Negative Effects Essay

756 words - 3 pages

E.B. Forster’s symbolic and satirical essay, “My Wood”, is about materialism and its negative effects on human character. It has a self-deprecating, ironic approach, illustrating his personal journey of material ownership, painted with a shameful, dark undertone. He seems to be aware of these negative effects as he experiences them, but it does not detract from his want for more, which will compound the problems. This odyssey, though based on his personal feelings, could just as easily symbolize societies as a whole. “My Wood”, was published in 1926, but as a reader in the twenty first century, it may actually be more pertinent to current culture. We live in a society in which we are conditioned to think of the world in a material light. Materialism is described by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as “a way of thinking that gives to much importance to material things rather than spiritual or intellectual things”. Forster explores the negative effects of materialism on the human character in some distinct ideas and feelings; the weight on spirituality, greed and ego.
Forster’s first burden of materialism is described as a weight it imposes on his spirituality. In the world of Christianity, any preoccupation or fascination with anything other than God is considered sinful and displeasing to God. That is not to say we cannot have material possessions, but valuing them over your faith can be dangerous. Forster mentions, “it was a man of weight who failed to get into the Kingdom of Heaven” (page #). This “weight” is not necessarily a physical weight, but a symbol of a mislead focus as to what makes us truly happy. When you focus on trying to satisfy what you think is happiness with collecting more material, you forget what is most important, and lose your way in faith. When we concern ourselves with the material world, we are drawn in to the duplicity of wealth. We think we will be fulfilled if only we had more of what we are chasing. The great misconception of the world we live in is that wealth and possession of material, does not usually, by itself,...

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