In “There will be Blood”, P.
T. Anderson develop a theory around greed and the American Dream. By definition the American dream is the ideal that every American citizen should have an equal opportunity to achieve success and prosperity through hard work, determination, and initiative. The film’s distorted definition of this leads to Daniel Plainview literally putting in the blood, sweat and broken bones to reach this level of success. The film shows a unique version of what it’s like for one man and how he reached his dreams, even if he had to hurt a couple of people to do it. In the beginning of the film Dainel is in a mine, is void of oxygen and is vigorously chiseling away. When he discovers a large piece of silver, he climbs out of the hole rigging the site with dynamite.
When attempting to pull the piece and his tools up the shaft, the dynamite explodes forcing him to lose it all within the rubble. When climbing down to retrieve his prize, he falls badly. Despite his knowledge of the danger he still proceeds to mine and this is just one example of his determination and dedication.
One of Daniels quotes, “What’s this? Why don’t I own this? Why don’t I own this?” That is what Daniel doesn’t own. One single section of land within a larger section of land he had made deals with. But Bandy won’t sell. And he never will. And so that means Daniel cannot access the oil beneath that land.
This is something that will eventually show later in the film but Daniel doesn’t take no for an answer and Brady will ultimately pay for his decision. Throughout the film we get come to get to know and understand Daniel a little bit more. We understand his past and why he is the way he is. Plainview is not some Ivy League-educated East Coast banker who makes millions by investing in the hard work of others and skimming everything off the top before double-dealing from the bottom of the deck. He is capable of doing every bit of grunt work required to pump oil from beneath the surface.
He put in the hours, he paid with blood, sweat and broken bones he set himself and he made himself into a rich man. When he introduces himself to the people he says, “…ladies and gentlemen, if I say I’m an oil man, you will agree.” This is Daniel’s standard, boilerplate template for introducing himself to the folks living where he plans to drill is directed toward just one thing: establishing himself as a unique creature on the landscape of America, the oilman.
Oil has not yet displaced cotton as king of the American exporting business, but by this time people are already beginning to see the potential and the oilman is already on its way to become a mythic of American legend like the ranchers and cowboys that the prospectors and wildcatters are displacing. Daniel Plainview recognizes the power of creating this myth and presents a persona that exceeds every expectation. Lastly the main part of the story the film challenges the viewer to establish the greater evil of America’s corporate identity, the stench of greed and Capitalism, or the sinister veil of Evangelicalism. The destructive world conflicts during the 20th Century, the loss of blood through battle, almost all of them were the result of religious difference or a thirst for wealth and power. This quote is from Eil Sunday he says, “We have a sinner with us here who wishes for salvation. Daniel, are you a sinner?” There will be Blood pits capitalism against Christianity in a battle to become the one true religion in America. Of course, the title indicates this battle will result in bloodshed, but the result reveals a surprise ending to the war. Peace will be made between the seemingly irreconcilable ideologies of capitalism and Christianity and create a new form of religion embraced by the faithful despite directly contradicting the teaching the savior toward whom all that faith is entrusted.
This assertion and admonition from Eli (religion) to Daniel (capitalism) symbolically plays out the commencement point of that unlikely integration. In conclusion Daniel never seems particularly to be in a happy, dreamlike state. During the whole movie Daniel is working to become wealthy and successful. Whether he succeeded or not is up to the viewers.
Violence is part of Daniel Plainview’s world. It lives and breeds inside him, poisoning his soul. The title promises that as part of the birth of the American love affair with