Comparing and Contrasting the Followership and Mentorship in Wall Street and The Matrixadmin / December 23, 2018
Wall Street is a film about two stockbrokers who are corrupted by greed and an insatiable lust for power. The film stars Michael Douglas as Gordon Gecko, an ambitious stockbroker who uses clandestine means to feed his avarice.
The film also stars Charlie Sheen as Bud Fox, a young and equally ambitious stockbroker. Gecko takes Fox under his wing. Fox becomes Gecko’s apprentice and is easily swayed by his newfound extravagant lifestyle.
The Matrix stars Lawrence Fishburne as Morpheus, an infamous computer hacker on the run from government agents. It is later revealed that Morpheus is in fact the captain of a ship known as the Nebuchadnezzar. Morpheus actually lives in a post-apocalyptic future where machines have successfully conquered most of the human race.
The Matrix also stars Keanu Reeves as Neo, a computer hacker who discovers that his world is actually an illusion created by the machines. The illusion enables the machines to use human bodies as a source of energy. Morpheus tells Neo that The Matrix is a computer-generated virtual world that has been used to subjugate the human race. He believes that Neo is a Messiah who will eventually destroy the illusion and free the human race.
Similarities in Wall Street and The Matrix
In The Matrix, Morpheus becomes Neo’s mentor. He teaches him how to survive in a hostile environment. The government agents are, in fact, computer-generated programs used to keep people sedated. They tend to kill anyone who becomes aware of their existence. Morpheus teaches Neo how to fight them within their virtual world. He shows Neo the tricks of the trade.
In Wall Street, Gecko also becomes Fox’s mentor. He teaches Fox how to steal assets from other companies. He shows him the tricks of the trade. He guides Fox on the road to success.
Morpheus is willing to sacrifice a few lives to save the world. Gordon Gecko is willing to sacrifice people’s livelihoods for financial success. In The Matrix, Morpheus kills a few police officers to help Neo escape. In Wall Street, Gecko teaches Fox how to protect his assets.
In Wall Street, the stock market serves as a learning institution for Bud Fox. Gecko teaches Fox how to cheat and steal his way through other people’s assets. In The Matrix, the virtual world is Neo’s learning institution. Morpheus teaches Neo how to navigate The Matrix. He shows him how to avoid agents.
Gecko uses Fox’s ambition to gear him towards financial success. Morpheus uses Neo’s ambition to gear him towards defeating the artificial intelligence residing in The Matrix.
Gecko convinces Fox that some rules are meant to be broken. He teaches Fox to use the loopholes of business to his advantage. He teaches him how to break certain rules in order to improve his financial status. Likewise, Morpheus teaches Neo how to bend the rules of physics within The Matrix. He teaches him how to exploit the resources at his disposal.
Both Morpheus and Gecko lead by experience. They show their corresponding apprentices that they are just as capable of carrying out the same tasks.
Gecko asks Fox to spy on a wealthy businessman. Gecko uses the information to buy shares from the man’s company thus improving his financial status. Likewise, Morpheus teaches Neo how to protect his teammates. On one occasion, Morpheus confronts powerful agents in order to save his crew.
Differences in Wall Street and The Matrix
Gecko is corrupt while Morpheus is righteous. Gecko helps Fox to usurp his own father. Morpheus uses all the resources at his disposal to help Neo save the world. Gecko manipulates Fox. He plans to steal from his father’s company. He tricks Fox by convincing him that he is not interested in the company.
Gecko has little regard for the consequences of his actions. He is willing to destroy his friends to get what he wants. He teaches Fox to do the same. Morpheus, however, teaches Neo to be careful of his actions. He tells him that everything he does in The Matrix could change the fate of the human race. Neo’s enemies are powerful.
Morpheus displays compassion for his crew while Gecko does not care about his employees. Morpheus treats his crew like a family while Gecko treats his employees like pawns. During an attack on the Nebuchadnezzar, Morpheus
When the agents capture Morpheus, Neo rescues him. When Gecko is arrested, Fox does nothing to save him. Morpheus’s leadership skills are obviously more profound than Gecko’s. Neo uses the skills that Morpheus has taught him to save his mentor. Fox uses his new-found skills to save himself. He betrays his mentor.
Morpheus believes in having a chain of command. Trinity is his subordinate. When the agents capture him, Trinity is left in charge of both the crew and the Nebuchadnezzar. Gecko, on the other hand, pretends to be Fox’s equal partner. He, instead, manipulates his apprentice.
He lies to Fox on several occasions. He tries to steal from Fox’s father. He does not believe in a chain of command. He prefers to be in control of all of his resources. He does not like to share his power.
Gecko is a manipulative leader while Morpheus is a tutor. Fox trusts Gecko to run his father’s company. He is easily swayed by the set of principles that Gecko has taught him. He makes his decisions based on what he has been taught. Neo, however, learns to forge his own path.
He emulates Morpheus but he also makes his own decisions. Before he rescues Morpheus, he tells Trinity that he is not the prophesied Messiah. Nevertheless, Neo does his level best to save his mentor.
Neo impresses his mentor while Fox financially destroys Gecko. Later, in the film, Neo discovers that he is “The One”. He trusts his instincts and defeats agent Smith. Before the credits roll, Neo resolves to continue Morpheus’s mission. He implies that he will continue to find others who are willing to learn the truth about The Matrix.
Fox, however, decides to attack Gecko by going after his assets. He uses his skills of manipulation to trick Gecko. He ensures that Gecko’s stock prices decline by convincing other shareholders to dump their stocks.
Gecko teaches Fox the importance of self-reliance. He convinces Fox that self-preservation is better than friendship. He teaches Fox to trust no one. Fox uses this knowledge to betray Gecko. He collects evidence against Gecko in order to save himself. Morpheus, however, teaches Neo that humanity is sacred. He develops a bond with his student. Neo forges a lasting friendship with Morpheus.