The Value of Life Over the Value of Capital Worth

Categories: Irony

Understanding the value of life over the value of capital worth My parents seemed to always want to downsize. Whether it was downsizing on our million-dollar house or giving tons of my clothes and toys to goodwill, I never understood why they would want to throw away such great things in our life. Being an adolescent, I never understood their motives when they would say “we have too many things” and “people could use these things" and "we need to live a simpler life".

I thought about the things she said and remembered that our priest had brought up such sayings about living a “simpler life” on our last Sunday mass. I was angry with our priest for a long time after as I saw my mom giving away my favorite toys and saying goodbye to my grandiose living space I considered my room. As I have grown older and matured I have realized that both my parents as well as my priest were correct and I began to understand their teachings.

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My experiences make it easier to understand the meaning of “The Foster Portfolio”. The entire theme of “The Foster Portfolio” was to make the audience of the time realize that individualism as well as happiness in one's own life have far greater worth than that of the capital world we live in to this day. Moreover, this short satire highlights main points that make the reader question their own life and wonder whether or not they put a greater emphasis on the quality of their life instead of the quantity in their wallets.

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Furthermore, as satires are known to have some sense of wit as seen through dark humor or droll irony, I believe this satire definitely proves to have more of a droll irony to be seen by the audience as well as the narrator of the story. Throughout this short story, we see that the narrator does not have a grasp of the more important things in life. Instead, we see that he explains the sad truth that, "people in my business and maybe people in general—have an unsavory habit of sizing up a man's house, car, and suit, and estimating his annual income” (Vonnegut 60).

Not only does this still stand true in today's times but this whole concept of judging a person based on their income and what kind of credit score they may have may be the entire reason why our society has become counterfeit. Our society today has lost a sense of importance of what is truly essential in the short amount of life given to us and we must not take it for granted. As this short story moves on we see that Herbert Foster is a huge family man who appears to know the meaning of life. He says "I love my family...And I wouldn't trade the life I've got for anything” (Vonnegut 70).

Although the audience discovers that Herbert Foster in fact follows after his father steps and plays jazz at the local run-down bar, what he said is fundamentally the purpose and meaning of life. Overall, I believe that one does not need the most lavish life with expensive cars and butlers that you can call upon on every whim and need. In fact, like Herbert Foster, you can have a small house with just the necessities and be satisfied with what you have. It is a common saying that “money cannot buy happiness” and I believe this idea holds true for all people because at the end of the day what will have mattered is the people you shared memories with and how well you used the time given to you.

Updated: Apr 19, 2023
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The Value of Life Over the Value of Capital Worth. (2022, Nov 06). Retrieved from

The Value of Life Over the Value of Capital Worth essay
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