Pearl S. Buck's 1931 novel The Good Earth has a tragic ending. The main character, Wang Lung, is nearing death and sees all he worked for his entire life evaporating before his eyes. His children squabble over money and are planning to sell off his farmland, and his wife has passed away (a death that was likely hastened by Wang Lung's cold-hearted actions).
The tragic irony of the situation is that Wang Lung had dreamed of being wealthy his entire life. He started off dirt poor, and his wife was the slave of the wealthy Hwang family, which began to fall apart due to laziness, drug use, and irresponsible spending. After enduring years of poverty, famine, and misery, Wang Lung catches a break and comes across some money. Through hard work and pertinent investments he becomes wealthy, even buying the Hwang estate. He has finally achieved his goal, but everything else in his life has fallen apart.