It’s a Wonderful Life – Trust, Respect and Personal Responsibility in Business

In: Film and Music

Submitted By stperkins008
Words 1536
Pages 7
Caroline Coyle

English 285-001-Summer 1
June 28, 2012
The Corporation and Modern Society: Crises of Capitalism
It’s a Wonderful Life – Trust, Respect and Personal Responsibility in Business

We tend to think of the past with nostalgia. The stories of our grandparents about simpler times when there was trust and respect, when families lived and stayed together, doors could be left unlocked, shopkeepers and businesses knew their customers. Some grandparents lived through the early 20th century untouched by the Great Depression. However, others struggled against forces that they did not understand. The banks and businesses that they had trusted had “failed” and they were suddenly without jobs or homes. Most Americans did not have any idea what had happened to the banks or how a bank could “fail”. With only newspapers and limited radio to rely on for information, they felt abandoned by the institutions they had trusted. The film It’s a Wonderful Life addresses the impact that a loss of trust has on a community and equally important, the failure of big business to respect those they serve. Frank Capra recognized that his film would be more than “good versus evil” in the form of George Bailey versus Mr. Potter. The citizens of Bedford Falls represented every small town in America where the lives of working class people centered on cooperation, sharing equity, fairness, and justice. They had a perception of trust and respect built on these values in which business and friendship went hand in hand. Capra shows us that the economic culture of Bedford Falls is dependent on the social culture. Everyone knows everyone and we are introduced to the characters who all share honesty, reliability and a sense of duty. The foundation of the town is built on these all-American virtues and even the name of the financial institution, Building and Loan, gives the…...

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