The Pit: A Story of Chicago

The Pit: A Story of Chicago


Norris described The Pit as a fictitious narrative of a "deal" in the Chicago wheat pit, which is the nickname of the trading floor of the Chicago Board of Trade, where commodities are traded like stocks and bonds. One man tries to corner the market on wheat to make a fortune. More than a business story, the novel deals with love and the lack of love in a relationship, selfishness, power, greed, the financial power of men and lack of their power to control events that are shaped by nature. Quote:

“Think of it, the food of hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people just at the mercy of a few men down there on the Board of Trade. They make the price. They say just how much the peasant shall pay for his loaf of bread. If he can’t pay the price, he simply starves.”

These poor people’s lives are completely out of their hands. In contrast, Norris suggests that ultimately the men down in the Pit don’t have power over them either, nor over their own lives, because above all, nature rules.

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