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This graphic depiction of urban American life centers around McTeague, a dentist practicing in San Francisco at the turn of the 20th century. While at first content with his life and friendship with an ambitious man named Marcus, McTeague eventually courts and marries Trina, a parsimonious young woman who wins a large sum of money in a lottery. The greed of the majority of the characters in the novel creates a chain of events that lead to many painful, gruesome deaths. Norris' work, so strikingly different from that of his contemporaries, is an admirable example of social realism, which provided America with a shocking reflection of its sordid sense of survival. From the opening description of San Francisco to McTeague's final desperate flight far from his 'Dental Parlors, ' this novel examines human greed in a way that still causes readers to pause and reflect over one hundred years later.Benjamin Franklin Norris, Jr. was an American novelist, during the Progressive Era, writing predominantly in the naturalist genre. His notable works include McTeague, The Octopus: A Story of California, and The Pit. Norris's work often includes depictions of suffering caused by corrupt and greedy turn-of-the-century corporate monopolies. In addition to Zola, Norris's writing has been compared to that of Stephen Crane, Theodore Dreiser, and Edith Wharton.