Wealth is the object of scrutinizing social satire in "The Diamond as Big as the Ritz." In this story, America is a country obsessed with wealth to a gaudy, destructive, and shameful degree. Wealth has replaced religion; men worship at the altar of diamonds and gold. Horrible things are done in the name of wealth, including imprisonment and murder, and these actions are written off as natural consequences of success and expansion. The detrimental consequences of such an obsession are made clear. Wealth can be its own prison, the narrative argues, and blindly chasing it dehumanizes its pursuers and devalues human life.
"The Diamond as Big as the Ritz" argues that one can be free only when one is poor.
"The Diamond as Big as the Ritz" argues that one can be free only when one is rich.