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Wall Street (1987): Ethics Analysis Essay

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Updated: Sep 9th, 2021


Wall Street film is a well-crafted story giving insights to the kind of morality found in the Wall Street. Oliver Stone sheds light on greed and corruption that dominated the Wall Street. Coincidentally, this masterpiece hit the markets exactly 60 days after the famous stock market crash of 1987.

The movie revolves around Bud, a young and ambitious stockbroker who is out to make it big in life. The other character of interest here is Gekko, a corporate raider who knows when to make a move and when to stay put. Gekko happens to be Bud’s hero probably due to his successful history in the stock market.

This paper focuses on the moral side of the story not the financial dealings that surround the Wall Street. It focuses on the scene where Bud meets Gekko for business dealings until Bud reevaluates his decision to continue with the dealings that Gekko gets him in.

Scene Analysis

We meet Bud as the movie opens trying to squeeze his way past a crowded work place in Jackson & Steinham securities firm. Immediately we realize that of late, he has been tirelessly trying to meet Gekko; a smart broker who knows what happens where in the stock markets.

It is important to note that Gekko will pursue his selfish ambitions regardless of what happens to other people even if they are his friends. Bud calls Gekko’s office relentlessly for thirty-nine days until he finally secures an appointment. To set things in motion, Bud looks for a gorgeous birthday gift, which he delivers personally to Gekko.

Unfortunately, Bud makes the first mistake; he gives some inside information about Bluestar Airlines Company, run by his Carl, his father. This information makes Gekko have some interest in Bud and given the hero that Bud sees in Gekko, a long term strong alliance between the two is inevitable.

As anticipated, Gekko takes Bud in and offers him a big opportunity to make good money; however, Bud has to play the game according to rules. Nevertheless, due to his hunger to make it big in life, Bud does not think much of what he has to lose to gain the good life he badly craves.

The alliance takes off immediately and Bud spends a lot of time with Gekko; a feat that earns Bud large perks. Bud is now entitled to expensive meals, fat cheques, and even beautiful lass by the name Darien. Bud is so carried away in this flush life that he forgets hustles and bustles of this life.

Within no time, Bud becomes a partaker of corporate avarice and corruption. Bud engages in slash-and-burn exploits courtesy of Gekko; this approach to business is more adventurous, thrilling and rewarding than the more principled prosaic business dealings championed by Lou Mannheim; a veteran trader. Life to Bud is at least now bearable for he can afford an up market apartment and take Darien to expensive outings.

Nevertheless, there is a price to pay for everything in this life and good things in life are not free. Someone has to either work very hard or deal very hard. Bud chose the latter and soon he is to pay the price. Bud had introduced Gekko to Bluestar Airlines owned by his father Carl.

However, due to his greed, Gekko suggest to Bud that they should sell Bluestar Airline assets, an incidence that will leave them immensely rich. Unfortunately, this move will leave Carl, Bud’s father and all workers in this company, who happens to be Bud’s friends, jobless. This is a decisive moment for Bud who has to choose between his father’s well being and his fortunes.

Luckily, Bud chooses to protect his father and friends working in Bluestar Airlines. He sets out to scuttle Gekko’s plans to salvage his father’s business. After approaching Darien, she refuses to betray Gekko leading Bud to dispose her marking the end of their relationship.

These events act as a revelation to Bud who painfully realizes that the price required to sustain his flush lifestyle is too expensive for him to pay. After breaking ties with Gekko and Darien, Bud strategies on how to save this company and he succeeds even though he ends up in prison.

In relation to God’s call to worship him alone, Bud made a mistake. He went against this sanctimonious call and worshiped idols; that is, money. The fact that he knew what he was doing was wrong and did not stop it before it began, is a clear indication that he was not willing to own up to this call from God. However, Bud has some morals left in him as he chooses to spare his father and friends.

However, this portrays partiality because all along, he has been hurting other people but it did not matter as long as it was not his father or friends. God calls us to act without partiality, letting his love dwell in our hearts, something that Bud went against. All this is because of money: the root of all evils.


Wall Street reflects the relationship between evil, coming from greed of money and upholding moral principles. People have the free will to choose between good and evil. Bud represents this clearly. As the movie starts, he uses his freewill to choose evil and engage in dirty business dealings. As the movie proceeds, he still uses freewill to choose good over evil as he breaks ranks with Gekko and Darien. Bud does not honor God’s call to get id of idols and worship him alone.

Works Cited

Stone, Oliver._The Wall Street_. IMDb, 1987.

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