First and foremost, the director shows a classic example of a gangster working his way up literally from rags to riches. Tony starts out as a body guard for one of the big mobsters, and quickly learns that to get to the top in the liquor you have to step all over people. The director correlates this advancement in status to the American tradition of finding any way possible to get where you want in life. As Tony’s character matures during the movie he gets greedier and more savage like. His motto was the “World is Yours” and he wanted to take its meaning to the extreme. He climbs his way to the top of the top, surpassing his former bosses and he believes that he is on a pedestal alone.
Finally, the director puts the nail in the coffin, when he shows that money and power alone will lead to corruption and unhappiness. He does this by using Tony as a prime example of someone trying to achieve the American Dream. When Tony finally reaches a substantial level of power and wealth, pressure builds up and he gets easily angered and things begin the downward climb. Its first starts when he walks over his own partners that were loyal to him from the beginning. Things finally unravel when everyone around him is dead, including his beloved sister. He realizes that the people around his were key to his success.