Chicago Christmas 1984

This is an essay about the importance and the position of money as depicted in “Chicago Christmas 1984” by George Saunders. In the first paragraph, it is evident that money is important in holding relationships together. George says that he was beyond broke and living with his aunt and uncle’s basement, this gave his girlfriend a good reason to leave him for his friend, claiming that she deserved better than what they have been going through with George.

Another importance of money is that it is a tool for gambling. During the early Christmas party organized in November by Warner, his friends, Garry, John and Vic engaged in the game of gambling with the monies they had earned from roofing activities.

Money is also an important social tool. It is used to finance social events, for example, in an early Christmas party in November when Warner organized party and bought food and drinks using his own money. Another instance where money is used to make merry is after the pay date when George gave John a ride to a friend’s place and John offered to buy him and his lady friend Sherman juice to have a party. 

In this article, money is an important measure of wealth. John and his wife had a lot of money; therefore, they considered themselves rich.  This gave John a sense of financial security that he gave birth to fourteen children and also bought a TV set. Money is used to buy big apartments. John and his wife lived apart in order to get more money so as to buy a big house.

Money is also important in this article as it is used to buy luxury assets. George used the money he earned to buy a car; Nova. John and his wife had plans to generate more money so that they could buy a bigger apartment in which the whole family will live together.

Money is an important source of joy to family members in this article; however, the lack of it causes sadness. John squanders all his money in gambling during the Christmas day and goes home empty handed. At home his wife and kids were waiting, he was in a dilemma because he did not know what he was going to tell them as well as what they were going to tell him on this Christmas day. John was sad because he had no money to make his family happy, in the process, he wiped his face from top to bottom, a sad gesture that George says he has never seen him make.

Money is an important tool of status conferral in this article. After George stopped working as a roofer, he got a higher financially rewarding job as an assistant curator at the Museum; this has helped him raise his standards of living. A few weeks later after the first pay day, George pull up to his girlfriend’s house, wearing clean clothes. George was also selected to go to a Brontosaurus Conference in Miami, Florida. George and his family now go out to dinner and he also repaid his aunt for all the food she fed him those many months he was working as a roofer.

According to this article, money is also portrayed a source of disgrace if not used accordingly. George and his crew engaged in a lot of merry making, drinking and gambling during that festive season, while on the other hand, George felt ashamed that he used his money in such activities yet, he had not paid his aunt who worked three jobs, and whom John had not yet paid a dime for food.

In this article, money is highly regarded as a source of respect, and the amount an individual has is used to rank individuals in the society. Lack of it is a source of embarrassment to individuals and George was greatly embarrassed in his poverty that made him live in the basement of his uncle. This caused George further embarrassment when his high school girlfriend dumped him for his friend. The society of Chicago also never respected the poor roofers because they do not have a lot of money.

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