American Rhetoric: Movie Speech

"Good Will Hunting" (1997)

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Debate at the "Bow and Arrow" (Harvard) Bar

Audio mp3 delivered by Matt Damon, Scott William Winter, and Ben Affleck

Contains profanity 

Chuckie: Are we gonna have a problem? I don't understand --

Clark: No, no...there's no problem here. I was just hoping you might give me some insight into the evolution of the market economy in the Southern colonies. My contention is that prior to the Revolutionary War, the economic modalities, especially in the southern colonies, could most aptly be characterized as agrarian, pre-capitalist --

Chuckie: Let me tell you something, alright --

 

Will: Of course that's your contention. You're a first year grad student. You just got finished readin' some Marxian historian -- Pete Garrison probably. You're gonna be convinced of that 'til next month when you get to James Lemon, and then you're gonna be talkin' about how the economies of Virginia and Pennsylvania were entrepreneurial and capitalist way back in 1740. That's gonna last until next year -- you're gonna be in here regurgitating Gordon Wood, talkin' about, you know, the Pre-revolutionary utopia and the capital-forming effects of military mobilization.

 

Clark: Well, as a matter of fact, I won't, because Wood drastically underestimates the impact of social --

 

  Will: Wood drastically -- Wood 'drastically underestimates the impact of social distinctions predicated upon wealth, especially inherited wealth.' You got that from Vickers, 'Work in Essex County,' page 98, right? Yeah, I read that too. Were you gonna plagiarize the whole thing for us? Do you have any thoughts of your own on this matter? Or do you...is that your thing? You come into a bar. You read some obscure passage and then pretend...you pawn it off as your own idea just to impress some girls and embarrass my friend? See the sad thing about a guy like you is in 50 years you're gonna start doin' some thinkin' on your own and you're gonna come up with the fact that there are two certainties in life. One: don't do that. And two: You dropped a hundred and fifty grand on a f----n' education you coulda' got for a dollar fifty in late charges at the public library.

 

Clark: Yeah, but I will have a degree. And you'll be serving my kids fries at a drive-through on our way to a skiing trip.

 

Will: Yeah, maybe. Yeah, but at least I won't be unoriginal. By the way if you have a problem with that, I mean, we could just step outside and we could figure it out.

 

Clark: No, man, there's no problem. It's cool.

Will: It's cool?

Clark: Yeah.

Will: Cool.

 

 

Chuckie: ...How ya like me now?!


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