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Wall Street vs. The Great Gatsby

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by Khiya Hillyard on 13 January 2013

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Transcript of Wall Street vs. The Great Gatsby

Wall Street vs. The Great Gatsby By: Khiya Hillyard Both Wall Street and the Great Gatsby share similarities in that they both contain the idea of corruption in American society and that wealth and power may not always be a good thing. "Greed is Good" In both The Great Gatsby and Wall Street we are introduced to the idea of greed in order to gain more money, pleasure, and power. In the Great Gatsby, the characters in the West Egg and East Egg show their greed by leaving their home for New York to find even more happiness. The Corruption of New York City Both stories take place in the city of New York.
The setting of New York is used to show the corruption found in the American society. What is Wall Street? Wall Street is a story about the life of junior stockbroker, Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen),in 1985.
At the beginning of the movie he is a young man who is working at Jackson Steinman & Co. on Wall Street. He is shown to be very desperate to make his way to the top. To do this he searches for the help of the extremely successful but ruthless and greedy Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas). Gekko, who takes Bud under his wing, explains his philosophy that "Greed is Good". Taking his advice, Bud soon finds himself swept into a world of "yuppies", shady business deals, the "good life", fast money, and fast women.
In other words it is similar to Gatsby's so-called "American Dream". In Wall Street, the characters of Bud and Gordon show their greed by doing anything and everything in order to make more money and materialistic things. Gordon is wrong in his idea that "Greed is Good" this greed is what results in him and Bud going to jail at the end of the movie.
The fate of the main characters is another similarity it has with The Great Gatsby. Although the Wall Street characters may not have died like Gatsby, their fate is still very bad. By having both stories end negatively, both Fitzgerald and Oliver Stone show the reader/viewer that in reality greed is not good. Appearance vs. Reality Wall street shows its greed in the form of making money and power. Throughout the movie Gordon does anything in his power to make money and not caring who gets burned in the end. Corruption is defined as dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power. What is Corruption? Examples of Corruption in Both Works: Affairs: Daisy and Gatsby, Tom and Myrtle vs. Gordon and Darien
The unrestrained desire for money and pleasure.
The illegal business used to achieve this: Gatsby is a bootlegger, Bud and Gordon illegally get information to affect the stocks and what stocks to buy. Both works have the appearance at first that Gatsby and Gordon achieve success and make money because of hard work.
In reality they are involved with crime to do so. In this scene, Gordon is introducing the use of using inside information to affect the stocks.
Bud is hesitant at first because he knows that this is illegal business.
One of his first assignments is to spy on British corporate raider Sir Lawrence Wildman (Terence Stamp) and discover his next move.
Bud learns that Wildman is making a bid for a steel company. Through Bud's spying, Gekko makes a lot of money, and Wildman is forced to buy Gekko's shares off him to complete his takeover. This is similar to The Great Gatsby because Gatsby is shown to appear like he gained all his success from hard work when in reality he did so by illegally selling grain for the alcohol business.
Bud questions Gordon in this scene about "what about hard work?"
Gordon shuts down this idea immediately by saying that you will never achieve success from hard work. Overall, both The Great Gatsby and Wall Street show similarities of corruption in society because of the use of illegal business, affairs, greed, and the pursuit for money and pleasure.
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