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... d, but Fox also represents something that is better defined: the corporations in the 1980's. Fox starts out as an honest man, working hard to achieve the goals that he has set for himself, but his dreams lead him to a dramatic change, a change similar to that of Boesky. He became so enthralled by what Gordan Gekko had to offer, that he left behind the importance of his family and the person they had raised him to be. During a scene in the hanger at Blue Star Airlines, Bud goes to visit his father a short time after his employment with Gekko. The normal camaraderie is present, but the quick and choppy camera shots of conversation stray from what the normal visit would be. After Fox finds his dad and hurries the conversation between the two, they decide to have lunch one afternoon, which had been customary over the years.
However, instead of Bud making time for his father, which had never been a problem before, he struggles to find a timer that is available and tells his dad to schedule an appointment. Bud's dad just shrugged off the inconsideration, but was really hurt by his son's attitude. In the 1980's, large corporations changed the same way that Bud did. They used to be honest, and they had good relationships with competitors, for the most part. However, CEO's had visions of green, and started to follow the trend that sucked in so many. Companies who feared the quality in other competitors would simply resolve their problem with a buyout or a merger. But as one company would profit from this, others would lose. People would lose their jobs, companies would those their appeal and market share, yet this activity continued.
Oliver Stone used Bud Fox to show the role of the corporation in the scandalous 1980's and how their was a new standard for excellence in the world that was defined by money. To take this further, Bud Fox and the corporations underwent a transition from spiritualism to materialism. When individuals and companies started to follow the trend of others, the goal became money, power, and material things; the things that had come to define excellence. As Murray Chap said in his critique of the film, "Materialism drivers the main characters to destroy anything and everything in the way of their pursuit of excellence, power and money." This sounds redundant, but materialism had become the driving force in everyone, and it is evident through out the film that as materialism grows and grows, honesty minimalizes, which caused the new definition of success. Gordon Gekko and Bud's dad are the antithesis of each other; one representing evil, and the other good. "Lunch is for wimps," is Gekko's line that describes his religion of greed. Gekko can be looked at as materialism in itself by his role in the movie.
To understand this, you need to look at what happened to Bud Fox again. Bud was honest, but when he met Gekko, he entered into a new world driven by manipulation for money. Remembering the words of Chapman, you see that Gekko actually is materialism because he is the force that is driving Bud, and he is reason that Bud went through such a dramatic change. Trying to prevent this change is Bud's father. Played by Martin Sheen, he warns Bud of the dangers involved with the business, and the deception and corruption that can result. Making money had become the religion on Wall Street, and it was making Bud Fox blind to his faults the same way Milken was confident there was no evidence to convict him. Bud's dad was able to understand this, because he was the representative for good, and could look at the world around him without falling into its grasp.
Why didn't Bud listen to his father? Because money was god in the 1980's, and for Bud to change as a result of his fathers advice would have been like the Pope deciding not be catholic anymore because an atheist in a mental ward told him it was the wrong thing to be. To clarify, the reason Bud is not listen to his father was because his father was the odd man out. Greed and power and manipulation had become so common that they defined normality, and when the good, but seemingly unusual, advice of Bud's dad was presented, it was disregarded as almost insane. I think Bud was saying to himself, "He can't be right, I am making millions, and he is a blue collar worker." Boesky could have lived off the million or two he was making from his normal job, but he wanted more. He wanted to be more than a "blue collar" worker in the financial world. I have followed the stock market for a few months, and was scared to realize just how much this movie characterized my attitudes and goals toward money. I would watch CNBC everyday and just dream of being one of those billion dollar hedge fund managers, or think about how much profit I could have made from some internet stock.
I became so wrapped up in anything that had to do with the market that I devoted substantially less time to school work. People would complement me on some of the things I had taught myself, but when I was studying for my Bible exam, I realized something. I was in it for the wrong reason. I realized that there was nothing wrong with me spending so much time trying to learn one thing, but I was driven by money. First of all, I am only eighteen years old and I have plenty of time to worry about my future. Second of all, money is something you can't let take control of your life because it will soon consume any good quality that exist, as the movie has portrayed. Money is only something that we have been given and are allowed to use, and it is not for us to take advantage of.
My biggest misconception was that making millions would be easy if you put a justifiable amount of work into it. However, the only way to make it easily is by hurting others, forgetting who you are, and by putting your character at risk. In Do the Right Thing, there was a descending spiral that only resulted in destruction of all. Well, I see the same thing in Wall Street. Boesky lost, Milken lost, Gekko lost, Bud Fox lost, Bud's dad lost, and worst of all, humanity lost in the 1980's..
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