I believe that the book actually does address Mitchell’s reaction to wealth – after a fashion – by virtue of disregarding it almost entirely. The book’s failure to mention Mitchell’s feelings towards his new wealth seems to be an indication that it hasn’t really changed him, simply because he doesn’t care about it. Whenever Mitchell has dealings with money in the course of the novel, he exhibits a strikingly unusual disdain for it. The instance that Taylor mentioned of Mitchell storing cash in the freezer is an excellent example. Most wealthy individuals would probably think about growing their money through investments or other means, but Mitchell views it merely as a tool, a useful item which he finds a convenient home for in his freezer.
Mitchell has no love or desire for money itself, but merely for what he can do with it, for both himself and for others. His $29,000 purchase of the psychedelic canoe on page 100, while it might seem on the surface to be the act of a selfish man, I think instead points to what he really does care about: other people. He purchases the canoe not to elevate his social standing among art collectors (though he does seem to enjoy wiping the smirk off of the gallery attendant’s face), but because it reminds him of Elsa, a person he cares about.
We later see that he is more than willing to share his money with his parents, saying to them, “I have more than I can use” (81). He only refrains from sending them more because his proud father refuses to accept it. When, during the same conversation, his mother suggests that he instead use the money to buy a nicer apartment, it seems as if that is something that has never even occurred to Mitchell before. Mitchell’s lack of interest in wealth and status is also exemplified on page 109, when he is perplexed at Charnoble’s elation at having made it “Uptown”.
The one instance I can think of that runs counter to this pattern in Mitchell’s life is when he asks Charnoble for a raise after being promoted to “flying solo” in consultations (106). However, even in this case, the author states that Charnoble “seemed surprised that Mitchell hadn’t asked for more” (106).