Doris Duke Essay, Research Paper
Many people may think that money is the key to happiness, but Too Rich, written by Pony Duke and Jason Thomas proves this theory wrong. Doris Duke was one of the richest people in the world, in fact at her time, she was the richest woman in the world, but money does not make all people happy. Actually, being rich could lead to and extremely lonely life, such as Doris Duke’s. Well, of course money can buy a person any and every material item that they want, but some things are priceless. Even the MasterCard commercial says so, “Your child’s first baseball game, priceless. For everything else, there’s MasterCard.” Money cannot buy happiness and companionship.
The reason that a biography was written about Doris Duke is because she was the richest woman in the world. Her family and she used their money towards worthy causes. Doris’ father founded Duke University and Doris helped to preserve national forests and monuments. The Duke fortune started with the American Tobacco Company. At one point their tobacco company was a monopoly, but then others formed. When Doris was born she was referred to as the one million-dollar tyke. This became true when her father, Buck Duke died.
The message conveyed in this novel is that money can buy most things, but it cannot buy happiness. Happiness is the one thing that Doris Duke craved and needed in her life more than anything else in the world. She was very lonely and trusted too many people. The most important lesson that her father taught her that she did not follow was not to trust anyone. The dedication of the book reads, “This book is dedicated to Doris Duke, who should have believed the person who told her ‘never trust anyone’”(iv). Doris wanted to be loved. She tried to find real affection from so many people, but found mostly fortune hunters. Doris also grew up alone and isolated. All of the people she allowed into her life did not love her for her, which she found out sooner or later, but later much more often than sooner.
Doris is portrayed as a lonely loving woman, who would do almost anything for anyone if she offered before she was asked. One of the main reasons that Doris kept a wall between her and the outside world is because of a day not too long after her father died. One morning Doris saw bags and bags of mail being brought in, amounts that came every day, mail that her father had forbid her to see. After Buck’s death, Doris’ mother, Nanaline let her see the mail. All of the letters contained threats to young Doris’ life if she did not send money or perform sexual acts. This caused Doris to become a lifelong prisoner of her own isolation. “Doris understood that she was always in danger. From that day until the end of her life, she had a mania for privacy and security”(66).
Doris was lonely because no one loved her for her; almost all wanted her money. They wanted her money not only in her life, but also in her death. “People who never gave Doris Duke any attention during her life are fighting over the vast treasure she left. Other people who tried to scam Doris in life are now scamming her in death”(261). The moral of the story is money cannot buy happiness. If this is not convincing enough read Too Rich, and that should be.