Books and Movies Reviews

taxi driver

The Martin Scorsese film Taxi Driver represents a “descent into hell” through society’s acceptance of pornography, violence and loneliness. The characters of Travis, Betsy, Senator Palantine and Iris are all typical of real people, either surrounded by or living in a world of lies.
After the passenger (or viewer) gets into the cab, the driver begins with a blurred tour of the grungy, dark and dismal streets of New York and the faceless people that walk them. Though the streets are crowded, everyone is alone. Many wander to the sleaze strips to see the X-rated films that are now socially accepted by most of New York’s inhabitants. As Travis says to Betsy when she mentions that she doesn’t like that kind of film: “No, no. This is a movie a lot of couples come to”. This shows the acceptance of society towards perversion, as if Betsy should enjoy that particular kind of film just because other people do. Even if the majority of people do something, it does not necessarily make it all right.
As well, society has begun to accept violence. As Travis walks towards Wizard to get some advice, the camera looks down the block to a couple of prostitutes being harassed and assaulted by some young troublemakers with chains. This behavior is ignored by all that see it. Travis looks the other way, as if to say: “Hey, it happens all the time, so that makes it all right”, subconsciously feeding his disgust with the scum of the world.
Later, as Travis follows Iris and her friend from his cab, a large, furious black man storms down the street screaming “I’m gonna kill him!” which also goes unnoticed. Violence appears to be the solution to all problems in this film.
The lonely cab driver represents the isolated people that walk the streets of New York. Although many of the people walk with others, they are still alone. As Travis says in the scene where Betsy is introduced, “She is alone. No one can touch her”. He is attracted to her because

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