Why does Lyman emphasize money? What is his attitude toward it?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Lyman is the story's narrator, and he tells readers a fair amount regarding money early on in the story. In the story's second paragraph, Lyman tells his readers that he has one talent. His one talent is that he could always make money. He says that it is an unusual talent for a Chippewa, and his talent must have been very apparent, since Lyman is the guy that people wanted to help with whatever fundraising was happening. He raised so much money one Christmas that the nuns let him keep a percentage of it.

Lyman also tells us that his talent improved with usage and people's encouragements. Basically, Lyman is making sure that readers understand that money was never an issue for him. He had money. If he didn't have money, Lyman knew he could easily make it. What this shows is that Lyman is the kind of guy to spend frivolously. He's okay with making impulse purchases, because he knows the money is easy to earn back again, and readers see him put this attitude into practice a few paragraphs later, when he purchases the red convertible with the "big bankroll" of cash he's carrying around. He tells readers that he bought the car without thinking it over, and it took nearly every bit of money he had on him; however, that fact doesn't worry Lyman. He knows he can get more money almost any time he wants.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial