Glengarry and good faith essay part 2
However, the film makes the audience think of true motives which drive people to launch the pursuit of wealth. Moss is apparently ready to steal shares to become wealthy, while Levene has a different motivation since he wants to save his daughter and commits the crime as the way to earn money for the treatment of his daughter. In this regard, the action of Levene does not look absolutely immoral, even though it is definitely a crime from the legal standpoint. However, the motive of Levene is justifiable from the ethical standpoint since the salvation of his daughter was a reasonable pretext for committing the crime.
Moreover, Levene turns out to be forcefully involved into the crime by Ross, who schemed the crime and elaborated the plan. More important, it was Ross, who forced Levene to commit the crime. In such a situation, the ending of the film gives implications that business is very complicated and no one can foresee what can happen next. For instance, Levene has got the offer from Roma to become his business partner, but as Levene has committed the crime he will definitely lose its opportunity. Such ending is probably the attempt of the director of the film to show that any crime leads to the punishment of the offender. However, such ending also gives implications to the injustice and evil nature of business. To put it more precisely, the main character, Levene is apparently ready to do everything to succeed but business turns out to be too cruel for him and he cannot find the right way to success.
At the same time, the film shows that people are pursuing wealth as the main purpose of their life since wealth brings everything. For instance, Ross and other salesmen are looking for any opportunity to become wealthier than they are at the moment. Even Levene views the wealth as the way to save his daughter suffering from a serious illness. In other words, the wealth is the main purpose of their life because they believe they can buy everything they want, if they have money.
However, such worldview contradicts to many ethical theories, which tend to prioritize the morality over material benefits. In this regard, the film as well as the book shows the loss of spirituality. Joe, who grew up in a very religious family, where parents discussed salvation every day along with the price of tomatoes (Smiley, 59), cannot find his way to success because his spirituality and moral values raise unsurpassable barriers on his way to the successful business development because business has nothing to do with morality, ethics and spirituality. Similarly, the film depicts the main characters, who are absolutely deprived of spirituality. They have no moral values and norms that will guide them throughout their lives. Instead, they focus on ripping off all the money they can, even if they deceive or even steal money from other people.
The total loss of spirituality becomes the mainstream trend in the contemporary society and the book and film uncover this trend to the full extent. In such a way, they show that people become enslaved by their desire to become wealthy, whereas the wealth itself is worth nothing. At any rate, the main characters of the book and film view their business as the main point of their life, while there are issues which they cannot buy. For instance, the daughter of Levene is ill and he cannot buy health for his daughter. The problem is not the shortage of money but the problem is the lack of health and related problems his daughter has. However, he believes sincerely that money can solve all his problems.
Furthermore, characters of the film and book have no other priorities in their life but their business. Even Joe, who grew up in the religious family, has lost his spirituality and he views believes of his parents ironically and he feels contempt to those beliefs of his parents. At the same time, his spirituality is probably not totally lost as is the case of Marcus because he is not ready to deceive his business partners so far.
At the same time, it is worth mentioning the fact that the film and book uncover the degradation of morals of the contemporary society, where everything is for sale. The business brings people money but leads to the moral degradation. For instance, Marcus brings considerable changes to the community since he is the first person, who is absolutely free of any morals norms and values and he is ready to commit any act, including crime, if it makes him richer. Remarkably, community members learn fast to ignore any moral norms and values. The community steadily slips to adultery, disrespect to each other, offenses and the total loss of spirituality. Marcus changes the worldview of people in the community making them believe that they can make money from everything.
The similar trend can be traced in the film, where the main characters are degenerates, who view deception as a norm and, more important, they have made deception, scheming and abuse of moral norms an integral part of their life. They are just like Marcus ready to commit any crime, if it makes them richer. As a result, they eventually do commit the crime just like Marcus. In such a context, it is possible to trace the clear ties between crimes and desire of people to become wealthy. In their ultimate manifestations, those efforts to become wealthy end up in either the crime or disaster. Since offenders depicted in the film and the movie steal money from their business partners, while their business partners suffer from financial losses and face a risk of bankruptcy. In such a situation, the film gives a hop that the crime will be investigated and offenders will be punished but the director leaves the denouement in suspense intentionally to make the audience think whether there will be any punishment at all or, probably, the criminals will use one of their immoral schemes to avoid the punishment. For instance, Levene has already tried to bribe Williamson twice. Therefore, he probably can try bribing the authorities to avoid the just punishment for his crime.
In such a way, people turn out to be slaves of money and wealth but the main characters depicted in the book and film are apparently unhappy. The film and book show that the wealth does not make people happier. On the contrary, their anxiety grows stronger the richer they become. The main problem of the main characters of the book and the film is the deep-rooted belief that money can buy everything but this idea is intrinsically wrong and violates basic ethical norms. The pursuit of wealth dehumanizes people and they violate basic ethical norms. They fail to understand that there are things that are much more important than money, like health, family, happiness and others.
Furthermore, the main characters of the book and film are conformists since they try to adapt to circumstances instead of changing them. They are looking for the easiest to resolve their problem, as was the case of Levene, who tried to talk to Williamson to persuade him not to fire him. Also Marcus prefers to steal money, when he has them at hand and when he sees the option to take the money and get away fast remaining unpunished for his crime. In such a way, the main characters of the book and film do not even think of changing their life or their environment. For instance, real estate salesmen in Glengarry Glen Ross do not even try to change their performance. Instead, they look for other options to stay in the company or in business. For instance, even Roma, who holds the leading position in the team, prefers to launch a new business to stay in business rather than trying to dissuade Williamson from changing the policy of the company. The salesmen are not ready to change the way they work and they will apparently keep deceiving their customers to earn more money.
Thus, the film Glengarry Glen Ross and the book Good Faith depict the moral degradation of the main characters under the impact of the dominant culture oriented on the pursuit of wealth. The film and book reveal the destructive impact of the pursuit of wealth on the morality of people. In fact, business has the dehumanizing effect on the main characters since the most successful characters are the least moral ones.