Greed is the root of all evil

Why do we do what we do and more importantly, how do we justify our actions?  We are capable of great and heinous deeds and it is in our ability to rationalize that distinguishes us from the other species on the planet.

This unit is about greed and our feelings towards money and it’s power over peoples’ actions.  Through “The Pardoner’s Tale” and A Simple Plan we see the dark side of us and must ask the question, “What would we do if faced with such a dilemma?”  Here is a breakdown of the texts and assignments:


  • “The Pardoner’s Tale” from Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
  • A Simple Plan 
  • “Live Rich” (video) Gary Turk
  • The Corruption of Smeagol (from Return of the King)


  • Journal Response:  What would you do if you found $5 million?  How would your decision change if there were two other people with you? – due Thursday Oct 5th
  • Formal Paragraph Response (see below) – due Oct 10th
  • Creative Writing:  write a scene that depicts a moral dilemma involving money – due Tuesday Oct 10th

Deep thinking questions: Write a formal response to one of the following topics

  • Why do we feel we need to justify an action that may be objectively wrong?  
  • Jacob asks Hank if he ever feels evil which begs the question,  What is evil?  
  • Do you think what Hank did was his true nature or is it a case of a good guy turned bad? Explain.
  • Discuss the symbolism of the crows
  • Connect to other sources: explain how other stories you know connect with this story.  
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