Text Selection Rationale

The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort

The Wolf of Wall Street describes the captivating life of Jordan Belfort, a conniving sociopath who uses his intelligence and wits to convince people to buy penny stocks. He knows they will not make any money, but sees nothing wrong with it as he continues to rake in the cash from others’ misfortunes. This story deals with the downside to capitalism, the American Dream, psychological issues of a pathological liar, and the concept of karma realized. The text is an autobiography written by Jordan Belfort that was published in October of 2007. It is not canonical, due to the fact that it is too recent of a book to be put into the canon. Some of the key themes and also main concerns of the novel are stock chopping, egotism, greed, and hunger for power.

I first heard of this story through the movie under the same name, so I was compelled to watch the movie first. The way the movie portrays his rise and fall really entertained me, so I figured the book would be just as riveting an experience due to the fact that they cut out portions for the movie. I expect to gain more insight into Wall Street through the longer tale of the novel, understanding what leads people to become like Belfort and how they get away with something like this for so long. As I went into my preliminary research, I already found multiple sources just discussing the movie based on the book, but when taking into account the subject matter and main themes and concerns for my argument, I found that there are plenty of options when researching things like corruption in Wall Street, egotism, and the act of stock chopping. Jordan Belfort did so many despicable things that researching all of them will surely allow for 10 different sources of information.

February 2: History

On p. 111, the textbook states,”To say that history is open to interpretation is not, however, to say that historical events mean anything at all; it is rather to say that history itself needs to be historicized-or that historical events need to be subjected to the same scrutiny as other ideological truth claims.” Do you agree or disagree that we should put that much effort into things that happened long ago? Do you think we should we be more focused on the present issues instead?