Greed In The Film Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood

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There Will Be Blood is a cautionary tale of how greed and the pursuit of wealth can cause one to lose oneself and to lose grasp of what’s really important. Director Paul Thomas Anderson and actor Daniel Day-Lewis bring to life Daniel Plainview, a ruthless oilman on a lifelong pursuit for wealth, and his attempt to control oil operations in an area of Little Boston, California in the early 19th century. Along his journey, the use of Daniel’s exploitive public identity of a father leads him to great success in the oil industry. This perception brings with it not just an economic benefit but allows Daniel to grow beyond the man that desires solitude and his “make enough money that I can move far away from everyone” attitude (1:26) . His tragic…show more content…
does provide a benefit to Plainview through land buys and public trust, the fatherly role also brings about a change in Plainview himself that expands beyond his relationship with H.W. Following the discovery of Mary’s father beating her when she doesn’t pray, Daniel takes it upon himself to rectify the situation. This leads to Daniel privately threatening Abel through his conversation with Mary, “Your daddy doesn’t hit you anymore, does he? Does he now? Better not, right? I’ll take care of you. No more hitting, right? No more hitting. Now go. Go and play some more and don’t come back.” (0:51) Daniel gives the audience glimpses of his inherent protection and interest in children through his interactions with H.W. and Mary. These actions give light to his inner struggle between family man and businessman which was pointed out to have always existed in Daniel even at a young age. Daniel tells his brother Henry of his childhood desire to live in a house back in Fond Du Lac, “I wanted to live in it... even as a boy, I wanted to have child to run around it.” (1:40) The eventual defeat of this inner family-man of Daniel, through the loss of his son, drives the final wedge between Daniel Plainview and humanity and leaves him truly

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