One connecting theme discussed in Red Harvest and The Death and Life of Great American Cities is the importance of money. Money, although simply a piece of paper, holds astounding meaning and value to members of society. It has the ability to influence opinions, dictate who has power, and change people’s lives for better or worse. Those with money are able to obtain more control over events than others, and direct the course of change, if desired. In Jacobs’ writing, money influences where people live and how they display their status. In Hammett’s story, money fuels violence and corruption in the city.