Narrative in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Term Paper

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¶ … Narrative in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

Oliver Stone's 2010 Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps is a film that follows the standard Three Act Narrative formula. This paper will show how the film's plot trajectory takes shape according to the plot point structure stipulated by the Three Act Narrative formula.

While the film uses several conflicts to propel the storyline, the major conflict of the film that serves as the inciting incident is introduced in Act 1 at 16:00 as main character Jacob "Jake" Moore watches Keller Zabel's stock crash. This incident causes Jake's mentor Louis Zabel to kill himself in despair. Before throwing himself in front of a subway train, however, Zabel advises Jake to have children and to love them, advice which serves as the film's ultimate message and becomes the ultimate goal for Jake as his character and the storyline progress.

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Most of the characters are engaged in both an internal and an external struggle. Louis Zabel is contemplating throwing in the towel and retiring from a business he no longer understands when his very enterprise collapses from underneath him and leaves him with nothing to stand on. He resolves his internal and external struggle through suicide. Louis' death creates an internal struggle in the main character Jake. Jake wants to avenge his mentor's death, resurrect his own career, and patch things up with his fiance Winnie and her father Gordon Gekko. To do so, he believes he must practice deception: he deceives his new employer Bretton James, who is the man responsible for bringing down Keller Zabel; he deceives Winnie by meeting with her father and hiding the fact from her; he deceives himself by thinking he is wily enough to hold everything together. While he struggles externally to stay afloat in the world of Wall Street, he struggles internally to balance his desire for power and riches with his desire to be decent and honest with Winnie.

Term Paper on Narrative in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps Assignment

There is also the internal and external struggle of Gordon Gekko, who upon his release from prison finds that no one is there to pick him up. He has been forgotten and abandoned by friends and family. He sincerely longs to be reunited with his daughter. However, at the same time he sees that he can manipulate Jake into retrieving his daughter's trust fund and using it to start-up his own business. His internal/external struggle mirrors Jake's. Gordon's daughter Winnie, on the other hand, struggles internally with her conflicting feelings for her father. At the same time that she wants to hate him for his past actions, she also wants to forgive him. However, she does not want to be betrayed again. Externally she struggles to promote her news website, which will be used later to help bring down Bretton James.

A false solution to Jake's problems is introduced 1/4th of the way through the film at the 29:00 to 35:00 when Jake meets Gordon. Jake sees Gordon as a sort of replacement mentor. He admires Gordon's finesse and hopes that by making a deal with Gordon, he can learn how to avenge Louis and happily reunite Winnie with her father. The consequences of this false solution appear as the main aspect of Act 2. Jake realizes that he has been duped by Gordon, Winnie's trust fund is never transferred to the charity that is supposed to receive it (1:40:00 mark), and Jake's stint with Bretton comes to an early demise. Winnie breaks up with Jake as a consequence of his having hidden his meetings with Gordon from her. No one is happy, except for, apparently, Gordon and Bretton, both of whom are at large and in charge.

Secondary characters do work actively both for and against the protagonist's goal. Gordon, for example, reads Jake like an open book and sees immediately that he can benefit himself by manipulating and riding… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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"Narrative in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps."  Essaytown.com.  November 26, 2012.  Accessed September 26, 2020.
https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/narrative-wall-street-money-never/4017487.