Martina lost. In Laurence Shames’ essay, “The

Martina LamEng Comp 3Session 4511 December 2017 Bloody Success Oil has driven the United States economy for over a century ever since it became the main source of energy in the nation. The exploration and production of oil is an important industry in the United States that employs thousands of workers and allows the economy to flourish (Beattie). During the late nineteenth century, business investors were beginning to take interest in oil rigging expenditures. Today, the price of oil directly impacts the price for transportation all around the world. It has become so impactful that a small dip in oil stocks could result in millions of dollars of profit lost. In Laurence Shames’ essay, “The More Factor”, it discusses the greed in America for more consumption of resources, land, and opportunities as well as how it impacts American culture. Oil is an example of a product that Americans can never satisfy their needs for and are always searching for more ways to fulfill their desire to consume. Director and writer Paul Thomas Anderson critiques the competitive spirit of the American Dream in the movie There Will Be Blood by making oil symbolic of America’s pursuit for success and showing how it negatively impacts American morals and makes one greedy for wealth.   In the first scene of the movie, you see a man covered in dirt and grime holding a baby and baptizing it with oil rather than water. H.W is brought down to the edge of a lake of oil, where his father marks his forehead with a streak of oil; as if to signify how important this commodity would become in H.W’s lifetime. H.W is essentially born into oil, both he and it are products of the same generation. Being adopted by Daniel Plainview fully inducted H.W into the oil industry. Daniel showed him what oil looked like, smelled like and how to find it. H.W would sit in on all of Daniel’s business meetings and interact with Daniel’s associates. H.W becomes part of the company and Daniel recognizes this as, “…very much a family enterprise “(Bradshaw). Years later Plainview becomes a successful oil mogul and invests in another oil rigging opportunity in Little Boston. There he buys out all the land and convinces the inhabitants that his company will not only benefit him, but it will also bring profit to the whole town as well. Everyone is impacted by Plainview’s oil rigging, not only does he pay for the land that they live on but many are also hired to work on the oil rig. They begin to accumulate more resources and profit from the new jobs that the oil rig creates (Bradshaw). As a result, the town is able to build a church with the income that they receive from Plainview’s business. The oil business allows everyone in the town to live a better life than they could have before Plainview came with his oil investors, however there are many lives lost in the process of rigging for the oil. There will Be Blood foreshadows the consequences that one may encounter while on the road to sucess. Despite the fact that many in the town are able to make a better life for themselves from Plainview’s business, a few men including his own son, have to suffer from the dangers of oil rigging. Anderson uses this film to send a message that greed for success (in this case it is oil), results in the loss of something or someone close to you. The competitive spirit that one has while searching for oil causes one to lose sight of one’s morals and give less attention to actions that can cause harm. It is oil that begins H.W’s future and also aids in its partial ruin. Out of all the characters in this film, H.W the most poignant representation of the hardships that post-Civil War industrialization brought along with it. Aside from causing the death of his biological father, oil makes H.W deaf. Daniel abandons him shortly after to focus on the current drilling operation. Each major event in H.W’s life revolved around oil, thus resulting in physical anguish, betrayal and alienation. H.W’s situation was true for many of the people who lived during the 2nd Industrial Revolution. Greed, death and deception were the common demons hundreds of families faced. H.W Plainview is a true testament to the notion that the immense success capitalism can bring is equally met with high risks and even greater sacrifices.He’s filthy, miserable, gasping for breath and life. The year is 1898. Two and a half hours later (and more than thirty years later in the time span of the film), he’s on the floor again, this time sitting on a polished bowling lane in the basement of an enormous mansion that he has built on the Pacific Coast. Having abandoned silver mining for oil, Daniel has become one of the wealthiest tycoons in Southern California. Yet he’s still filthy, with dirty hands and a face that glistens from too much oil raining down on him—it looks as if oil were seeping from his pores. The title promises that as part of the birth of the American love affair with oil, blood will be spilled. No birth can be successful otherwise. In the film, Daniel Plainview is introduced as an oilman. A true oilman who had an earnest, almost pure, intentions with finding success and having a better life than before. Industrialization is depicted as a commodity which seems good and positive but has a lot of consequences as well.  It could be compared to selling ones soul to the devil.  One will have the advantages of building a company and having riches, but at the end, just like Plainview, become greedy, selfish, and all alone.  Through the industrialization of pipelines workers died and accidents occurred.  Oil seems to represent the blood of the people affected by it, even the people who had to give up their land. This overwhelming obsession to  be rich took over this mans life and it just left him with nothing but misery. Daniel bases his life on finding oil, if he thinks that there is a substantial amount in the ground, he will take his resources and drill it out. Like Daniel explained in his speech, industrialization is shown as progression. Its advancing these towns that have no tourism or any technology and by doing this, it’s making the united states progress as a whole. This shows how industrialization brought wealth but it brought misfortune and death to some people. Finding wealth with help of industrialization was big success for some, but it was dangerous and risky gamble for many others. There Will Be Blood focuses on the oil boom of the early 20th century. From the moment that the film begins, this idea that industrialization is the most important part of life at this time is extremely self evident. With barely any dialogue, the first scene to me was one of the most powerful that we have seen thus far in the movie. Tents were pitched all over demonstrating the day in and day out dedication to finding oil within the wells. Digging these wells and discovering oil was life for these men at this time because oil equaled money. And in turn it meant they were able to provide for their families. To me, though, the determining factor for just how important the oil was to them was the camera focusing in on the baby, (whom we later know to be H.W., Daniel Plainfield’s son,) sitting in a bucket crying after the men had all left to begin to pull up the buckets of oil. Works CitedAnderson, Paul T. There Will Be Blood (2007).,, Andrew. “How Oil Prices Impact the U.S. Economy.” Investopedia, 25 Mar. 2015,, Peter. “There Will Be Blood.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 8 Feb. 2008,, Laurence “The More Factor.” Signs of Life in the USA: Readings on Popular Culture for Writers, Bedford BKS St Martin’s, 2017, pp. 80–85.