In Discovery of an Eagle, Cosmo and Silvia talk about how people attempt to immortalize themselves through excessive monetary wealth. Cosmo alludes to the Egyptians, who he says, “buried their big shots with all their crap so they’d be all right in the afterlife.” Some people might quest after money and material wealth because they believe that such wealth will make them impervious to death. Because this belief is irrational, it must live in one’s subconscious. They might also think that they can fill themselves up with such wealth, blind to the reality that nothing on the outside is ever enough.
Vincent, in A Very Rich Poor Man, realizes the intrinsic nature of wealth, for true wealth can only be found inside. He’s rich because he pursues his creative and intellectual pursuits, because he can take joy in seeing bats fly in the nighttime sky and in playing music. Although an adult, he still knows how to play with toys and even dress up in costumes. When Donna discovers the many, varied pictures he’d drawn of himself throughout his life, she realizes that, despite him being monetarily poor, he had led a full, colorful and wealthy life. This insight is what changes Donna forever, forcing her to question what pictures she will have of herself in the end of her life.