Summary: A rumination on the nature of treasure in literature.
A treasure as a popular culture phenomenon, in the universe of the novel or film, sparkles differently than it would in real life. In a romance novel, family is the greatest prize. The plot revolves around the simple barter exchange of other valuables – virginity, hard work, modesty – for the treasure of the family.
The theme of treasure in adventure stories and films is far more complex. Storytellers have told of precious prizes since time immemorial. Traditional buried treasures contained jewelry and precious stones, as money, having been buried for a while, would lose its properties as a means of exchange, but gain in value if it was gold or silver. A Spanish Doubloon, given enough time, turns into simple gold – seven grams of it, plus the numismatic value.
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