Study Guide

Artemis Fowl Greed

By Eoin Colfer

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The fairies pretty much think greed is the defining characteristic of humans in <em>Artemis Fowl</em>, especially since the rumors of gold at the end of the rainbow got started. When Holly finds out that she's just being held for ransom, she's disgusted—but also not so surprised that Artemis is just another petty human with a greed-fueled scheme in mind. Humans aren't the only ones with an eye for stuff though, and as the book progresses, greed becomes a trait that indicates someone is living completely out of sync with everyone else.

Questions About Greed

  1. Most of the quotes about greed in the book specifically mention money or possessions. Are there other kinds of greed, and, if so, how do they show up in Artemis Fowl?
  2. Holly thinks Artemis is pure human and greedy to the core—howdo Artemis's actions during the story reinforce or complicate this assessment?
  3. If this whole human-fairy tension over gold has gone back all the way into legend, why hasn't anyone come up with a better solution? Or is one even possible?

Chew on This

The fairies talk about greed like being born human is all it takes for someone to froth at the mouth at the sight of material possessions, but fairies themselves are drawn to precious stones like gold—according to Artemis Fowl, the only way to escape greed is to be an animalistic creature like a troll that has other natural priorities. 

Artemis certainly loves money, but the thing he's greediest for is control—and that's why he gives up half of his hard-earned gold. He needs his mom back in order to keep running the show the way he wants to.

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