9 Movies That Prove Capitalism Isn't All Bad

8. The Great Gatsby


Now before people jump down my throat, I know that Gatsby's wealth doesn't make him all that happy. But let's face it, it doesn't make him depressed either. It's the lack of Daisy in his life that makes him depressed. Nevertheless, capitalism isn't black and white in Gatsby. The eponymous hero may be a self-made man, but we're led to believe he got there via illicit means. In the book we get a clearer picture of the young Gatsby as a ruthlessly ambitious man willing to do almost anything to get rich. For such characters, capitalism (particularly in early 20th century America) provided ample opportunity to do so. For Gatsby at least, as well as the Buchanans and the majority of guests at Gatsby's famous parties, capitalism meant opulence and good fortune, at least on a material level. But I still don't believe that Fitzgerald was a believer in out-and-out venture capitalism. Take George Wilson, the downtrodden garage owner. He is the only character in the book trying to make his money through a traditional blue-collar job, and in comparison to the obscene wealth of the others he has nothing. Literally nothing. To add insult to injury his wife is also cheating on him with a much wealthier man. So Fitzgerald succeeds in showing the inherent injustices within capitalism - Tom Buchanan inherits huge wealth without much hard work; Gatsby gets it illegally. And poor George Wilson works his fingers to the bone for nothing. Brilliant for some, not so brilliant for others. Still, those parties are pretty impressive...
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Phil is a politics graduate interested in film, TV and tweeting Alan Partridge quotes to obscure British celebrities. He is currently reviewing every film he watches between Halloween 2013 and Halloween 2014 over on his blog -