Human Culture

“The Wolf of Wall Street”: Martin Scorsese’s Riveting Exploration of Human Ambition and Moral Dilemmas

The world of cinema has unquestionably been forever changed by Martin Scorsese, a celebrated American director and producer. Of all his significant writings, “The Wolf of Wall Street” stands out as a gripping depiction of human ambition and the chase of wealth. In this 2013 movie, Scorsese dives into the true account of stockbroker Jordan Belfort, who used market manipulation to his detriment (Bram & Putra, 2019). Through film, Scorsese creates this story of excess, avarice, and moral ambiguity, a potent visual art.


The Wolf of Wall Street, (2013)

Martin Scorsese


In particular, “The Wolf of Wall Street” explores the appeal of financial success while posing important concerns about human society. Its primary question, “Would you do something illegal to achieve the dream of becoming rich?” is insightful and intriguing (Rahmayani & Fitrawati, 2018). The filmmaker encourages the spectator to consider the ethical trade-offs people could make in their ruthless quest for wealth through the figure of Jordan Belfort. This inquiry probes the core of human motivations, morality, and the lengths people would go to flourish financially.

The artistic endeavor also poses bigger issues that mirror humanity’s goals and challenges. A fundamental question highlighting the innate yearning for financial security and abundance is, “Why cannot everyone become rich?”. This subject has a strong resonance in a society where economic inequality still exists and reflects the universal desire for a better life. The movie also asks, “What must I do to become wealthy quickly?” (Bram & Putra, 2019) This investigation typifies the impatience prevalent in contemporary culture when instant gratification and quick success are greatly valued.

The main theme of “The Wolf of Wall Street” is the greater human need to express oneself and excel. The character of Jordan Belfort, played masterfully by Leonardo DiCaprio, embodies the unwavering ambition that pushes people to extraordinary lengths (Bram & Putra, 2019). Scorsese’s film reflects the pursuit of the American Dream and society’s preoccupation with money, which serves as a mirror for society. The story exposes the ethical compromises viewers are willing to make in their quest for success, highlighting the complexity of human nature. The movie also examines the idea of wealth in terms of knowledge, influence, and power in addition to money. It emphasizes the attractiveness of a life without constraints, where people can indulge in excess and grandeur. Exploring the darker sides of our desires and aspirations, “The Wolf of Wall Street” becomes a meditation on the human condition (Rahmayani & Fitrawati, 2018). Wealth is not just a sign of financial success in Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio with magnetic charisma, but also a doorway to a life free of limitations. The lavish celebrations, costly way of life, and unrestrained excesses portrayed in the movie give us a glimpse of human nature’s hedonistic impulses. Through this perspective, Scorsese investigates the core of our aspirations, including the hunger for unreachable pleasures, the thirst for independence, and the yearning for recognition.

In conclusion, “The Wolf of Wall Street” by Martin Scorsese examines human civilization and the insatiable desire for success and fortune. Through its engaging narrative and intriguing characters, the film highlights important issues like morality, ambition, and the extent people will go to to achieve financial success. Scorsese’s work emotionally impacts audiences because it tackles these universal topics, prompting them to consider their own beliefs and objectives in the context of how human society constantly evolves.




Bram, B., & Putra, P. K. (2019). Swear words used by Jordan Belfort in the Wolf of Wall Street movie. SKASE Journal of Theoretical Linguistics, 16(2).

Rahmayani, D. P., & Fitrawati. (2018). Analysis of types and functions of taboo words in “The Wolf Of Wall Street” movie. E-Journal of English Language and Literature, 7(3).

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