Back to: Karnataka Board Class 11th English Guide and Notes
The poem Money Madness is a stinging exposition of the modern consumerist world that is based on material wealth and money. People today are so invested in the race to aggregate money that they are willing to sacrifice their morals and even sanity.
The poet labels money and the greed for it as our own form of madness that is ruining us as a society. The whole world being money-mad is a sum of individual people who in turn are turning insanely money-oriented. Each individual episode of insanity makes the whole world a maze of lust for money.
He laments that people are so afraid to lose whatever money they have that they find it hard to spend charitably. Even if it is one pound, we feel devastated to lose it.
A sum as high as 10 pound actually makes people shake with anxiety and sadness. We have become enslaved to the chains of money power. It makes us prostrate and worship it. It controls our thoughts and influences our actions.
The poet goes on to claim that there is something even more powerful that is at work in this whole race for money. It is the kind of social status and sanction that we as a society offer to people with money and people without it.
Money has become the single biggest marker and signifier of worth and importance in society. When we evaluate a person today we hardly notice his/her values and characteristics. We only judge his material possession and wealth.
If he suffers from deprivation and poverty, then he is condemned as weak, unfit and liable to suffer. He has to struggle, scrap and suffer pains just because he is poor. Even his death becomes insignificant because he lived a poor man.
People may spend enough to buy him some food but only enough to survive and suffer more. This insane worship of money is becoming a form of delirium that we as a species are suffering with. The poet decries such apathy that people have for the poor.
He believes that every person, irrespective of his condition, has the right to food, home, warmth and freedom. Until that happens we will continue to be puppets in the hands of money and material things. We will continue to attaché value to competition and race for more wealth.
Ultimately this will cause the whole world to burn with enmity, hatred, jealously and insanity. It will continue to cause more human suffering and deaths. We have to choose; either human survival or eventual ruin.