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The Queen of Spades: Hermann and Greed

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The Queen of Spades is a complicated story about greed, the supernatural, love, desires and secrets. The card game in the story The Queen of Spades is one of the oldest games of chance. What I will try to determine is whether the Countess’ seemingly real ghost is authentic only in so much as Hermann’s consuming madness produces it, as well as to designate the origin of Hermann’s madness.

Hermann is a young German soldier in the Tsar’s army who dreams of becoming a member of the Russian elite. After an evening at a friend’s, he learns the story of an old countess who is known to hold an invincible secret at playing cards. This Countess resides with her niece, Lisa. Hermann decides to manipulate Lisa and allows her to fall in love with him so that he may be introduced to the Countess. Once introduced, Hermann basically threats the Countess to reveal her secret. Not much time afterwards, the Countess appears in one of Hermann’s dream and reveals to him a winning card combination on the one condition that he marry Lisa. After becoming very happy Hermann decides to reject Lisa and use her secret to become rich. But little does he know what is going to happen.

The Countess lays out the conditions that are harmful to Hermann in the end. The Countess tells him that after using the secret he is forbidden to ever use it again. He is given the key to eternal fortune and then told he can only use it once. It is human nature to consume resources until they are depleted of all value and only then to move on. The condition set by the Countess goes against everything that Hermann would want to manipulate for his own advantage. Hermann’s madness is the product of the last card game. When he loses all the money after choosing the wrong card, he goes insane and spends the rest of his life saying “Trey, seven, ace!” The shock of the loss and Hermann’s vision of the Countess’ face in the card cause Hermann to go mad. I feel there is a lot to learn from The Queen of Spades. It is a story written a long time ago, but there is a very meaningful moral to it. That it greed can ruin an individual. Greed can cause a person to do anything and everything, as we see in Hermann and how he played with Lisa’s feelings. In conclusion, The Queen of Spades is a story that everyone should read and learn that greed is a very destructive trait.

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