Sell Me This Pen

| March 28, 2014

Source: IMDB

EDITORIAL – Do not, I repeat do not, see this movie with your parents or anyone else you may become skittish around regarding the subjects of sex, drugs, and terrible language because these are the top three pillars of The Wolf of Wall Street. Full throttle, utter debauchery flies at the viewer from the start. Personally, I had to watch the film twice before I could even tear my eyes away enough to create notes. Although the film may cause some viewers moral distress, I would still suggest seeing it, not only for the entertainment value but for the symbolism and also for the ludicrous and outrageous story that is actually true.

Written in the voice of a first person who seems to be completely omniscient and definitely smarter than you, The Wolf of Wall Street causes many reactions: I think my ears have been raped. How many naked women can I expect to see? And what does being rich have to do with being a terrible person?

If you choose to believe the film is sexist based on naked women alone, I’m going to have to ask you to finish this paragraph. Many viewers will immediately associate the vast amount of strippers, prostitutes, and a woman with a shaved head with a sexism directed only at women. That’s the obvious choice. “Look at those women. They’re ‘easy’ and ‘cheap.’ How could the men in this film NOT use them? These men are so powerful.” But I’m forced to ask THAT viewer why they didn’t choose the argument that the film is sexist toward men. I don’t know about other viewers, but The Wolf of Wall Street has definitely convinced me that men in power can’t help themselves. Their constant addiction to their jobs, sex, and drugs incapacitates their abilities to participate in anything other than the aforementioned. One might also be forced to argue that, in their relationships with women, women hold the upper hand. After all, there seems to be no man who can resist the wiles of any “Eve” that comes his way, even if it’s his cousin.

But what about the language? I’ll go ahead and say my mother would be appalled such things are allowed on the silver screen. And so will many of the rest of the population who simply can’t get past the words. However, other viewers will consider the enormous amount of concentration placed on them. Language is a very important aspect of this film, but why? What is dear Martin Scorsese trying to explain? Well, the final career of Jordan Belfort turns out to be something like Sales Psychology/Motivational Speaking which basically means he now teaches people how to use the exact words in the exact order required to make a sale. Therefore, many viewers may now understand the spotlight of language in the film and why it is so important to Jordan. Words can convince a person to pay thousands of dollars; they can make a person sound more intelligent or less intelligent; and they can express many different emotions and ideas, but most importantly, communication via whatever outlet is a powerful tool in order to sell oneself or a product.

Along with many of the other drugs and addictions let’s discuss one you may have not noticed: gambling. Where is it? Well, none of the characters are ever actually in a casino, but have you seen the offices? These people are gambling all day every day. Opposite of the typical casino, clocks are not only available but their time is precious. It’s the only time during the day in which these brokers will be getting their gambling fix. The difference? Most of them don’t seem to be gambling with their money but with their clients. Therefore, there is “very promising upside potential with very little downside risk” which constitutes an altered perception of these stockbrokers monetary reality.

And what does this altered perception do to those it affects? It creates an entirely different reality with a visceral reaction dependent upon where each person falls on the following scale. If one’s perception has not been altered by “unwavering” power and glory, reality seems to be a bit more concrete whereas the scale seems to shift inversely dependent upon how parallel one’s reality is to his or her opinions of his or herself. In this way, since many of the characters in The Wolf of Wall Street consider themselves better than the average person, they do not seem to be as cemented in the same morals and empathy that seem to be so controlling in the moral compasses of so many others. Therefore, many of the characters in The Wolf of Wall Street are free to be selfish people. Does this make them terrible? I’m not sure, but Jordan Belfort definitely knows how to spend your money better than you do.

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1 Comment on "Sell Me This Pen"

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  1. Jay Platt says:

    Great post, Lacey! I haven’t seen this yet, but want to. Reading what you written, makes me want to even more. I’m not sure that was your intent, but it does! 🙂