Rhetorical Analysis of ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’
The movie The Wolf of Wall Street starts off as Jordan Belfort is working for a renowned Wall Street stock market firm in the ’80s. Jordan Belfort meets another broker, Mark Hanna, also known as Matthew McConaughey who has more experience and a higher status. McConaughey teaches Belfort all the secrets of Wall Street as he Belfort works under McConaughey wing (Belfort, 2011). Most of the secrets of becoming successful in Wall Street are dirty and they don’t abide by human ethics. At the same point, there are a few tricks that are good. Jordan Belfort realizes that he can make more money if he decides to start his own firm. With a team of five employees, Jordan Belfort and his friend Donnie Azoff starts selling blue-chip stocks which include Disney, Kodak, and Steve Madden. The first approach was to gain the trust of their clients. Once the client gained confidence with them, they would push the “penny” stock to their client. Penny stocks are stocks that do not chance and Belfort and his friend would make all the money. Belfort has a gift of lying that he uses to manipulate the decisions made by his clients and his employees.
Poverty makes many people desperate of anything that can change their financial and social status creating a gap for people like Belfort to exploit them by promising to enable them to get a lot of money.
The Wolf of Wall Street is about greed. The purpose of the speech that is delivered by Jordan Belfort is to make his employees work harder targeting to get rich. The speech reflects the life of the rich investors in the New York stock market who are chasing money, sex, and power. Jordan Belfort is a middle stockbroker who is aspiring to rise to greater heights by using employees who work below him. The aspirations of becoming a rich and powerful person make him use persuasive language to lure employees to work hard, promising them that they will become rich but in reality, he is the one who will become rich. In this stock market, many people use different tricks to become rich. Nobody cares about the ethics as long as the deals that they engage themselves into amounts to good returns.
Jordan Belfort is the main character in the movie The Wolf of Wall Street. Belfort uses persuasive language to make his employees work extra hard and make more sales. Due to his character, Jordan Belfort was also known as Leonardo DiCaprio. Belfort pushes all his employees to become the best in the stock markets. Belfort explains to his workers how to become very rich and change their status in society. “I’ll make you richer than the most powerful CEO of the United States of fucking America.” (Hadley, 2014). The persuasions are intended to make employees admire to become rich and get a better life. Belfort states that there is no nobility in poverty and when presented with a choice, he would always choose rich over poor.
In the speech, Belfort takes the employees through a journey of poverty. When one is poor, nobody in society respects his or her. Most of the rich people in society are respected and they live a better life. In a three minute address, Belfort shows his employees that their firm has a potential of becoming the largest stock market in Wall Street. The process of establishing itself as a huge company will require a lot of money. Belfort, some of his employees, and his friends live an expensive life wearing expensive designer clothes, driving flashy cars, inhaling cocaine, living in huge apartments and hiring prostitutes. The lifestyle approach convinces many employees to work hard so that they can afford a similar lifestyle.
Belfort uses real-world problems to persuade his workers that he can change their lives. Belfort narrates to his employees how he used to make $49 million when he was only 26 due to hard work. In the same line, Belfort looks pissed off by his status than because he had a chance of making a million every week. The behavior shows that Belfort is a person who is not only rich but also looking for more wealth. All the employees are convinced that by working hard and convincing their clients, they will lead a good life as that of Belfort. “See those little black boxes? They are called telephones. I’m gonna let you in on a little secret about these telephones. They’re not gonna dial themselves! Okay? Without you, they’re just worthless hunk of plastic. Like a loaded M16 without a trained Marine to pull the trigger” (Hadley, 2014)
Poverty makes most people desperate for anything that can help them change their social and economic status. Belfort knows this and he uses it as a tool to convert his employees so that they can work for him and make him richer. Belfort has a gift of lying and he teaches his employees how to manipulate the decisions made by their clients. The number of employees in his firm expands to hundreds. Belfort knows that his time to shine has come and he takes that opportunity to give an inspirational speech to his workers. The speech is aimed at making the workers work as hard as they can for him so that they can make a lot of money and expand the business. Belfort took three minutes to convince everybody that he will make them rich and all that he needed from them is to pick up the phone and start talking to multiple clients. Most of his employees are able to break the code of ethics as long as they make huge amounts of money.
Belfort, J. (2011). The wolf of wall street. Hachette UK.
The Wolf of Wall Street – Leonardo DiCaprio Speech. (2014). Retrieved April 20, 2019, from https://themotivationmentalist.wordpress.com/2014/02/11/the-wolf-of-wall-street-leonardo-dicaprio-speech/