The Ides of March
1. Theme - A political consultant learns that to avoid the tricks and traps of politics he must abandon some of his values.
2. Wants and Needs - Steven shows his want early on when he is speaking to the reporter Ida. He wants Governor Morris to be the next president of the United States. Steven’s needs are much more complicated than his wants. He needs to remain untainted by the games and plays that goes on in politics. The need to remain uncompromised shows itself in the very same scene with Steven Ida and Paul. Steven is the only one really fighting for what he believes in at that table and his response to Ida’s questions almost comes off as self righteous and speechy. Governor Morris’ wants are to become President of the United States. He is actively seeking the seat and every action taken by him in the movie shows this. His need is similar to Steven’s in that he needs to remain uncorrupted and uncompromising to keep his sense of worth. Paul’s wants are to help Governor Morris become the next president same as Morris and Steven. His needs are different than either though. He is a veteran when it comes to the political game and has been playing for long enough to know all the tricks. He is not uncompromised and not still idealistic. He needs to retire from the game. He looks over stressed and overworked, and in order to not die early from this stress he needs to get out of the game, or as they say “Start a nice consulting firm off k- street.” Duffy wants Senator Pullman to win the primary and he is willing to do anything in order for him to accomplish this want. Duffy’s need is to stop being so manipulating of others. In the end it is his manipulation of others that causes his candidate to lose the primary. Molly is harder to read. I think she just wants to be apart of the process, she doesn't seem too excited about whether the candidate wins or loses. Her need is to start thinking things through and not making rash decisions. Senator Thompson wants a high position in the white house in return for his support for the office. His alliances are to whoever can give him the best seat. His need is hard as he is such a small character. Ben wants to be successful in the campaign and be promoted. His need is to stay away from the tricks and traps that his predecessors have fallen into.
3. Opposing Poles of Existence - The main opposing pole for the Ides of March are Headstrong and Compromising. Steven starts out on the headstrong side, he has his beliefs and he is committed to seeing them come to fruition. Steven says “If Mike Morris is President it says a lot more about us than it does about him. I don’t give a fuck if he can win, he has to win.” He will change when he is confronted by Duffy the opposition. He is shown that they are losing and this causes him to take action and try to win. Steven and Paul try to convince Morris to promise Secretary of State to Thompson, knowing that he is the wrong person for the job. He is pushed even further to the compromising side of the poles when he is fired from his position in the campaign. At this point he becomes reckless and goes into the opposing candidates ready to tell all. The simple act of being fired pushed him almost to the other side of the poles. Governor Morris begins on the side of the headstrong as well. He refuses to promise the Secretary of State to Thompson, even though he knows that it will most likely cost him the election. As the movie progresses he is forced by Steven to make that compromise on the threat of losing not only the election, but his reputation and his marriage. Duffy is the Anchor character for the side of compromise. He does not move at all on the opposing poles. He will do or say anything to win including giving Thompson what he wants to gain his support. This is shown by the fact that he has already promised Thompson a seat in the white house. He praises Steven so that he will either cross over and work for him, or...
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