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The Relationship of Walter White and Jesse Pinkman through Social Conflict

For centuries Class conflict has been a struggle of people who are constantly fighting and taking control. ‘Breaking Bad’ is best explained by class conflict and the protestant ethic best explains the relationship between Walter and Jesse. These two sociological perspectives are two out of five perspectives that are reoccurring throughout the series of Walter’s and Jesse’s relationship.

In Chapter one of ‘Essentials of Sociology’ the topic of Class Conflict is brought up. It was in the 1800s that Karl Marx actually proposed a revolution to change society. According to page 5, class conflict is the struggle between capitalists and workers. Throughout the series of ‘Breaking Bad’ Walter White not only goes into a spiral of realizations but of outbursts and secrets. He works two jobs to support his family, working hard to be the capitalist, and his wife is constantly at his back, demanding more so she can live easy.

As the series continues, Walter learn he has lung cancer, and starts to question his motives in life; his drive. He questions why he worked so many jobs and why he felt so unhappy. After an accident that landed him in the hospital, Walter discovers that the bills that will rack up after getting chemo, would put his family into a deep unending debt. With a pregnant wife and a son who cannot walk, Walter realizes he needed to change his worker life style and become a capitalist.

He begins to motivate himself to not only leave his car wash job but to become a drug seller. He continues his job at the school to cover up his real intentions. Walter is still the worker at this point because he is the means of product, but when he and Jesse soon meet up and reconnect, Walter begins to become a capitalist, more than a worker.

Another reoccurring social perspective that intertwines in ‘Breaking Bad’ is Protestant Ethic. On page 7, it describes Protestant Ethics as the desire for salvation triggered by the desire for financial success. This description of Walter’s and Jesse’s relationship is a little difficult to explain. A Protestant Ethic is about someone who is looking for salvation in a religious term in order to be more successful.

At first Jesse was running from Walter, avoiding getting caught and in trouble for being a meth seller. Walter convinces him to reconsider and to team up and being developing a product that all buyers will desire. Jesse begins a power struggle with Walter, simply because both are used to being the top dog in a collective of workers. Jesse, being a washed up high school dropout, soon not only looks up to Walter to know how to fix problems, but looks up to him as his leader. He not only looks for salvation of being nobody, but a desire for success.

Jesse and Walter both desire a salvation whether one be for their own personal gain and the other be for family protection. The relationship is connected by Jesse seeking Salvation and Walter seeking success; a success that will help Walter become the capitalist instead of just a worker.

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