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Industrial Western Movie: There Will Be Blood

1461 words - 6 pages

There Will be Blood (2007) is an entertaining movie that delineates in various forms that will be discussed from other western genres. It is a story that is formed from a novel by Upton Sinclair’s book, Oil! (1927) (Belton, 2009, p.401). Many westerns were based on dime novels that were written in the mid and late 1800s (Belton, 2009, p.246). American society was going through a transitional period from an agrarian society to an industrial society in the 1800s and early 1900s (Wright 2001; Desk Encyclopedia, 1989, pp. 27-28, 630-631). The change in revolutions could explain the difference in most western genres and the movie There Will be Blood. In fact, one important different aspect is the contrasts between There Will be Blood and other westerns is that most westerns are based on novels that were written earlier than Upton Sinclair’s OIL!. The United States had become more industrial and had started to change their morals, interactions, rationality, autonomy, and self-interests. These differences will compared by showing how There Will be Blood uses an anti-hero, industrialism, deceit, greed, and what is to be considered a more eastern way of life.
Most westerns have a heroic cowboy that fights against corrupt officials to save a small helpless town or a person in need of help. They also have women who are attracted to the cowboy, and Indians who the cowboy usually fights. The cowboy is moral and fights for good because he is free from civilization its deceit and the wilderness (Wright, 2001, pp. 18-58; Belton, 2009, pp. 248-249). Most cowboys who emerge in western films are honest and forthright.
There Will be Blood portrays a different character than the usual cowboy that emerges from the west. It is set in the same geographical location but is unlike most of the westerns because it has an anti-hero. Most westerns have a hero that is set out to do good and right by others, but there are a few westerns that have anti-hero characters such as: Ride the High Country (1962), and The Wild Bunch (1969) (Belton, 2009, pp. 257). There Will be Bloods main character Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day Lewis) is an oil prospector that is less than admirable when it comes to doing what is right. Plainview’s main goal is to become prosperous by any means possible. He will exploit a town or people if that’s what it takes to make money.
One example of Plainview’s exploitation, is when he works with a man who has a child and gets killed. Plainview takes in the child (H.W.) not because it’s the right thing to do but to use the child to make him seem like a family man. Plainview gains wealth by telling towns, landowner, and other commoners what they want to hear. He is deceitful because he uses the appearance of an honest, “family and oil man” (Lewis, 2007, There Will be Blood). The beginning of the story is narrated through his interactions with the townspeople of different areas that he travels to. He makes his interests seem like there to help the people...

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