The Taxi Driver film and its Connection to the American Dream
The American dream is a concept that has multiple distinctive meanings. In the taxi
driver film, where the characters are fighting for a chance to be happy and having options to do
what makes them happy is an actual depiction of the American dream. The taxi driver film
features Travis Bickle as the main character. He is lonely and suffers from insomnia. Travis takes
a job as a taxi driver in New York City; the cab business entailed working during the day and
night. He also used to visit porn theatres for pornographic films; this was driven by his
loneliness. While moving around the city, Travis dreamt of cleaning up the mucky city. He met
Betsy, who was a campaign volunteer for a senator and presidential candidate Charles Palantine,
and was obsessed with her. He enters the volunteer in the excuse of talking to her, and he takes
her out for coffee. He also took her to porn theatre, and she was offended and left him and went
home alone. Travis compelled himself to save the world. He planned to assassinate the
presidential candidate and then saving a twelve-year-old prostitute.
Travis is frequently changing his view on his situation. At the onset of the film, he
complains of a lack of sleep and being alone, and he tries to change his position by acquiring a
taxi driver job, which would keep him busy since he could not sleep, and he also tries to get a girl
to cub his loneliness. When things do not turn as expected, he blames on predetermined fate. He
says he is made to be "God's lonely man." He now thinks he has no control over what he does
and plans to assassinate the presidential candidate and shoot himself. The shooting fails, and now
according to him, destiny is predetermined by God; he then creates his fate by killing Iris's
protectors. He made this decision on his own, therefore determining his future. Other characters
like wizard and Iris think they can change their fate, Iris is powerless, and her destiny is
influenced by people (Rose & Mirriam, 266). Travis determines her fate by forcing freedom on
her since she was being used and denied freedom of choice. Iris had come to New York with the
thought of being independent; she lost control of her destiny at the end of the film. It certainly
holds the truth of the current society where people of the united states for them to make meaning
out of their life they have predetermined thoughts. It is, therefore, a depiction of what is going to
happen in life.
Loneliness and alienation are the commonplace as to be unremarkable facets of American
existence.these are seen from the news or even the life history of every citizen of America. This
condition is, therefore, rampant. New York is a crowded city, but Travis complains of being
lonely. He complains that people in the cab pretend he does not exist. Tom and Betsy flirt, but
they are not connected; this shows they are lonely and seeking comfort from flirting. Betsy is
depicted as a lonely character; she is lonely enough to consider a coffee date with Travis, who
was a stranger they met on the streets. Wizard and other taxi drivers for all night dinner, this
shows they are lonely and without stable homes. It, therefore, indicates that the film is connected
directly with the American dream.
In current America, violence has been glorified by loosening gun laws. In every city,
there must be lunatics who kill others, and there is nothing we can do to prevent that. As seen in
the film, acting helped Travis escape loneliness. At the end of the film, Travis, having been
involved in violence and cold blood killings survived death and was regarded as a local hero
(Fraser & Benjamin, 15) Iris's parents also write a thankful letter to him. Ironically Travis is
supposed to be an enemy of the society, but he is celebrated as if he was law-abiding. This plot
twist shows that Travis criticizes New York society, which was praising his criminal behavior.
Migration has been the American dream where people from various countries work in
America. The dominant group, which were the whites, happen to start discriminating the blacks.
This theme is showcased in taxi driver film by the way Travis noticed black men everywhere
showed hate towards black men. The cameras are focusing more on black men moving around
the city and seated in dinner, and black men are shown in slow motion, this depicts racism in the
film. This kind of hatred towards black men by Travis separates him from society. Other cabbies
are comfortable to sit around Charlie, Travis uncomfortable. Travis is jealous of black men as he
watches black couple dancing, he expresses disbelief that they can be happy while he is lonely.
Another racist character is the man who ran into the convenience store after Travis shoots a black
man, that guy was worried for Travis for using an unlicensed gun instead of worrying about the
dead black man. Even the man behind the counters beats the dead man, and Travis feels justified
by his racism (Greven & David, 23).