Of the seven deadly sins, greed is one of the most enjoyable—just ask Mayor Cole. No one in The City of Ember is immune to the siren call of greed: some people are greedy for attention or affection, while others want physical things to enjoy, like fancy foods or colored pencils. How each character handles their greed—whether it's with shame, pride, regret, or carelessness—says a lot about them. So next time you find yourself hungrily wanting something, think carefully about your next move.
Being greedy is okay; it's how you deal with it that matters. That's why we like Lina—she's good at managing her wants. The mayor? Not so much.
Greed is what happens when you act on selfishness. When you combine it with power, which the mayor has, disaster ensues.