Frank Lucas; American Gangster What is the one thing every person, white or black, rich or poor, American or Hispanic, wants to have plenty of in their possession? If it’s green, flimsy paper with different values on the front then money is the answer. Whether it’s 19th Century, 20th Century, or 21st Century, people work, steal, worship money. Human beings aren’t always satisfied with the amount of money they have, so they work harder, steal, rob, or cheat hoping to satisfy their money obsession.
This describes the efforts and actions of an “American Gangster” named Frank Lucas. Frank did whatever it took to become rich to provide for his family, driving him to drug trafficking. Despite being a murdering, lying, threat to the North East gangsters involved with the drug trafficking, Frank Lucas elicits enthrallment from the audience due to his intriguing and charismatic character, emphasizing the pleasure of grasping possessions wrongfully will only bring you joy for a short period of time.
Frank Lucas thought he had it all.
He was dealing the most pure drug there was on the street during this time for a lower price, had a system that was literally untraceable, and was wracking in the big bucks. The question is why did Frank Lucas become like this and how did he become like this? Frank used to drive around the most famous dealer before he was shot and killed. Frank was close to this man, him being a father figure in his young life. Frank wanted to be like that, so he decided to start his own business in the drug trafficking business.
Frank was power hungry like Satan in Paradise Lost. Satan used to be one of God’s angels until one day Satan decided he could be even with God and be on top. Just as Satan was trying “to set himself in glory above his peers,” (1. 39) so was Frank Lucas trying to set himself the “king” of the slums up north. What this lifestyle brought to Frank Lucas looked good at the beginning but got harder and harder as time rolled on. Frank became rich quick, helping out his family tremendously with financial problems.
But as his business kept drawing attention, life became more miserable with threats to his wife and himself making his life more and more of a secret from society. The same goes with Satan. He begins to realize that trying to be on top isn’t going to be easy, “for now the thought/ Both of lost happiness and lasting pain/ Torments him. ” (1. 54-56). Both Frank Lucas and Satan realizing there power thirst comes with major consequences they didn’t expect. Both Satan and Frank Lucas give the reader and audience an intrigue that is likeable.
Frank Lucas has this way of carrying himself as the man around town, no one messes with him but fear him. That’s power that people are gravitated towards to like, being the “center of the world. ” Also this intrigue rubs off onto Frank’s brothers. They are canceling there dreams in there mind because they want what Frank has, rich and fame. Satan also has that feature. The way he believes he can be equal to God makes you feel his confidence. You are intrigued in his decision making and are curious to see if he succeeds.
He also is good at rubbing this business of his to other angels who end up following him. People look up to them and want what they have. In the end, both Frank Lucas and Satan have the urge to be the most powerful person, have it all, but don’t succeed like they had hoped. Frank Lucas gets caught and put in jail, and Satan has to keep wishing he could “have equaled the Most High” (1. 40). While they are both hated by the world they live in, the reader and audience begin to smile, and begin to feel a little likeness towards these characters especially for their intrigue ways.
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Frank Lucas; American Gangster. (2018, Mar 03). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/frank-lucas-american-gangster/