Wall Street Movie Essay

Wall Street

The 1987 film, Wall Street, directed by Oliver Stone starring Charlie Sheen and Michael Douglas, is the story about a naïve Wall Street broker who desperately wants to make it big on Wall Street. But Bud Fox played by Charlie Sheen soon finds after being mentored by the Wall Street giant, Gordon Gekko, played by Michael Douglas, that being the best requires a lot more than he expected. A reoccurring theme that Stone threaded throughout the film was greed. Stone uses Gordon Gekko as a vehicle to symbolize greed, corruption, abuse of power, and the evil in society. In one of the rising action scenes in the movie, Gekko gives a speech about how greed is good and how greed is essential to making America a successful country. As a viewer what resonated with me the most was the statement “greed is good”, which is really thought provoking because greed is a subjective word, what one perceives as greedy may not be greedy to someone else.

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The dictionary’s definition of greed states that it is an excessive desire especially for wealth and possesions, which is ambiguous because what is considered excessive depends on one’s perception. Greed’s true definition has to be established by oneself, based on character, scruples, and moral boundaries. When one crosses those boundaries, like betraying loved ones for success or the willingness to exploit and destroy the lives of others for money, then that is when one can be considered greedy. Bud Fox allowed money to stand in the way of what was most important, his family. He ended up being used by Gekko and sent to jail for insider trading. Stone illustrated through Bud Fox that actions have consequences regardless if they are good or bad and that what one does in life does matter, even if the consequences are not immediate.

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