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Movie Analysis: “Wall Street”

Free «Movie Analysis: Wall Street» Essay Sample


Ethical values play a major role in shaping the decision-making process of every individual. The following discussion is an analysis of the movie titled Wall Street directed by Oliver Stone. The viewers can see the analysis of the behavior of the main characters and the development of their relationship from the perspective of ethical reasoning and values. The story line of the movie is a reflection of the typical dilemma rising in the selection of business and family. In fact, the following passages reflect ethical values of the character, his ethical reasoning, and dialectical tension prevailing in the movie.

Ethical Values of Human Communication in the Movie

Ethical values penetrate the movie and represent the nature of the communication between the main characters. In general, it is possible to claim that the following values take place in the movie – trustworthiness, responsibility, respect, fairness, and caring (Tompkins, 2011). Many ethical situations happened in the movie, and they require characters to respond to the decisions of another individual based on ethical concerns. First, it is important to claim that trustworthiness is the first ethical value, which takes place in the communication between the main characters. When Bud comes to Gekko on his birthday, he does everything to win his appreciation. However, Gekko remains unimpressed until Bud unveils some information about Bluestar Airlines, a company belonging to his father (Stone, 1987). It became a point, which captured Gekko’s attention and encouraged him believing Bud and his efforts towards joining Gekko’s business. However, Bud loses money according to his first selection of stocks. In order to win appreciation back, Bud receives new tasks from Gekko to get new information by any means. It is the point where another ethical value starts taking place. Bud realizes that he becomes responsible for his own career and is ready to do everything to win Gekko’s respect.

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Furthermore, the traces of fairness and caring are revealed in the communication of Bud, his father, and Gekko. When Gekko agreed to purchase Bluestar Airlines, Bud realized that his father and other employees would become unemployed. Regardless of the fact that Bud could become a president of Bluestar, Bud decides to break the deal in order to take care of his father. He does not find it fair to leave him and other employees unemployed. In addition, it became an act of caring for his father, which made Bud think about the negative consequences of his careless business manipulations with Gekko.

Ethical Reasoning

Ethical reasoning along with ethical values takes another place in the movie. Bud has the same ethical values throughout the whole movie. However, he had different approaches towards ethical reasoning, which influences the decision-making process. From the beginning of the movie, Bud wanted to gain respect from Gekko by any means without thinking about his father and his business. In fact, Bud’s desire to join Gekko and share a business with him became a destructive phenomenon, which ruined Bud’s reputation and led him to jail (Stone, 1987).

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Further, Bud realized that he acted wrong when Gekko would make Bud’s father and his employees unemployed. Bud started to think about a new decision depending on the feeling of respect and care towards the father. The family relationship became the core of the decision-making process for Bud. In addition, Bud forgot about his aspiration and intention to have a privilege of working with Gekko.

It is obvious that Bud experienced several changes throughout the movie along with the development of relationship with Gekko. From the beginning of the movie, Bud is willing to work with one of the most successful brokers rather than thinking about his father. At that moment, Bud was not thinking about the consequences. Moreover, his suggestion regarding the purchase of Bluestar and careless attitude to his father led to the thoughtless decision to become a president of Bluestar. In fact, the consequences made Bud change his attitude to Gekko. As a result, Bud unveiled a myriad of illegal activities, which he committed to satisfy needs of Gekko. There was a moment when Bud realized that high moral values should prevail, and family is the most important thing in life. However, it was impossible to see family-centered values in the decisions of Bud from the beginning of the movie. It became the main change, which influenced Bud and led to the appropriate decisions. In general, it is possible to emphasize that fairness and responsibility became the primary ethical values, which influenced the development of Bud. Otherwise, it would be immoral to handle the negative consequences of careless performance.

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Dialectical Tension

Integration-separation tension prevails in the relationship of Bud and his father. Connection-autonomy dialect and inclusion-seclusion dialect are the main elements in the communication between Bud and Carl. The same dialects can refer to the relations of Bud and Bluestar’s colleagues. The connection-autonomy dialect reflects the tension between the need for independence in relations and the need for integration (Tompkins, 2011). From the beginning of the movie, Bud did not want to interfere in the business of father. He chose to win the loyalty of Gekko, whose reputation does not reveal the best sides of his performance. In fact, Bud worked on becoming independent from his father by showing that he did not need his help in his life.

In addition, Bud and his father experienced inclusion-seclusion dialect in their relationship. The dialect became obvious when Bud proved by his actions that he was willing to separate from his father in order to live his own life. Carl, in his turn, did not want to interfere in the life of his son knowing that he would not understand his advice. In fact, Bud did not wait for his farther to stop him. He successfully separated from him and wanted to take care of himself without father’s help. In fact, such inappropriate behavior led to the negative consequences, which returned Bud to the connection-autonomy dialect with the opposite decision. Bud did not want to betray his father and employees of Bluestar Airlines. It became the breaking point of the movie, which proved that it is impossible to break the connection between a father and a son. In general, both dialects provided the spectator with a full picture of emotions and changes in the perception of ethical values and principles of the behavior.

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The movie is a reflection of complex relations in the business world involving a family relationship. The movie became a dilemma of making a choice between business development and personal career and family relationship. It is difficult to understand the character’s behavior at the beginning of the movie. However, it is clear that Bud’s behavior changed under the influence of Gekko. In general, it is possible to see the dependence between Bud’s behavior at the beginning of the movie and his ethical decisions by the end of the story line. The main idea is that Bud’s ethical values remained the same. However, Bud changed his ethical reasoning and the decision-making process after he had revised his ethical values, playing the major role in shaping his life changes.

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