The Decline of the West

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The Decline of the West

In todays world we are getting more and more materialized. When being a kid in school it is all about getting the newest phone, wearing the most expensive clothing and every other materialized thing, to show off how much money we have. We measure our happiness in things, clothes, cars and so on. The greed of getting more and new things is decreasing. Before the financial crises in 2008 every family lent money to buy new things all the time. No worries were to be shown in any family, until the crack happened. Nowadays the crisis has slowly turned around again and in school it’s still about collecting the newest items. In the short story from 2010 by Hanif Kureishi, the problem of greed and a materialized world is
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From this view the kids seems rather ungrateful and rude to their father and we don’t see their side of the story. It seems like everyone is against Mike and that no one is happy about Mike working hard to delight his family. On the contrary it would look rather different if it had been from the wife or kids point of view.

The title “The Decline of the West” can be a directly reference to the western worlds economic problems. This theme is clear throughout the short story, where especially Mike thinks about his choice of lifestyle that he and many others have had through many years. He considers whether the financial crises can be the punishment for this: “Like many people, Mike had also worried whether the present catastrophe was punishment for years of extravagance and self-indulgence.” (p. 4, l. 86-87) Another thing to notice about the short story is how values like love, closeness and indulgence is nowhere to be found. And the title can therefore be related to moral degeneration, which Mike’s family is an example of. The title can be a critical comment on the western worlds excessive focus on money at the expense of more important thing like family and Mike is actually thinking about the Marxism prediction, which affects him personally: “Since capitalism was cracking under the weight of its contradictions as the Marxists has predicted … they would have to find a
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