Life Was Industrialization by Jessica Gianelli

There Will Be Blood focuses on the oil boom of the early 20th century. From the moment that the film begins, this idea that industrialization is the most important part of life at this time is extremely self evident. With barely any dialogue, the first scene to me was one of the most powerful that we have seen thus far in the movie. Tents were pitched all over demonstrating the day in and day out dedication to finding oil within the wells. Digging these wells and discovering oil was life for these men at this time because oil equaled money. And in turn it meant they were able to provide for their families. To me, though, the determining factor for just how important the oil was to them was the camera focusing in on the baby, (whom we later know to be H.W., Daniel Plainfield’s son,) sitting in a bucket crying after the men had all left to begin to pull up the buckets of oil. Immediately, I felt sorry for the baby, and then I came to the realization that although he was crying because he was left alone in a bucket with little attention being paid to him, the reason that he had to be there was so that his father could provide for him. In order for industrialization to progress, this work was necessary. The culminating moment of this scene was when Daniel Plainfield was attempting to console H.W. and make him stop crying and he gently brushed his face and a streak of oil was left. I believe that from this very moment on, H.W.’s life solely revolves around the discovery of oil consequently based on the fact that his father’s revolved around it as well. Industrialization was Daniel Plainfield’s life, and therefore it was H.W.’s, too.