All the animals come out at night - whores, skunk pussies, buggers, queens, fairies, dopers, junkies, sick, venal. Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets. I go all over. I take people to the Bronx, Brooklyn, I take 'em to Harlem. I don't care. Don't make no difference to me. It does to some. Some won't even take spooks. Don't make no difference to me.
This is a declaration made by Travis Bickle, the protagonist of “Taxi Driver” (1976) by Martin Scorsese. This is a film that has been marked as a psychological drama that deals with the features of attaining a better America or the American dream. More precisely in the words of Adams Truslow (1931) American dream beliefs "life should be better and richer and fuller for everyone, with opportunity for each according to ability or achievement" irrespective of any discrimination. The entire plot of “Taxi Driver” is developed on the basis of American dream by attaining opportunity for all those who deserve to attain success and prosperity. The film refers to a very personal as well as critical experience added by the realistic view about the post Vietnam War. The protagonist leads the plot towards social instabilities. Specifications were all made about the North-American urbanization. It is here that Travis gets transformed into an odyssey-like personality and eventually a schizophrenic war veteran. He is the taxi driver who drives within the sleaziest areas inside New-York. There is a very strong thread of existential and alienation led by Travis Bickle that suits the passion for attaining the American dream under the manifold existence of loneliness within the protagonist.
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As declared by Martin Scorsese, Travis is an “avenging angel” reciprocate attains prosperity, yet remains at the edge of being a day to day guy with typical lifestyle (Thompson and Christie; edts 1989). As noted by Travis for New York, "I think someone should just take this city and just... just flush it down the fuckin' toilet". There is the picturisation of an extremely frustrated and disturbed personality in Travis that struggles hard to save Iris, a prostitute of twelve years. Travis considers that she must get out of the profession of being a prostitute and choose a better life. Travis feels for Iris and says, "I realize now how much she's just like the others, cold and distant, and many people are like that, women for sure, they're like a union". The efforts of Travis are worth appreciating, but in the approach there is a vast difference in offering real assistance and dealing with the day to day frustrations. The attempts of Travis were remarkable yet but they are also representative of failure that is very common in a city like New York. Being a taxi driver, Travis Bickle actually does not know "much about much", yet is clear about the depth feeling that he cannot stand continuing amount of propagation led by hookers, pimps, junkies along with the low-lives within New York City. In this process his love for a girl turns static though never gets equal response. He gets lonely, drinks a lot and remains depressed. A continuously growing distraction and dissatisfaction of Travis about the world around get symbolized by the green and red lights added by plethora of symbols to illustrate his anger and confusion. Mental aspects of Travis are the core representatives of an instance where the protagonist is nothing more than a dumping ground that signifies anti-thesis approaches of “American Dream” (Garabedian, 1998). It is he who shows permanent mode of underlying violence within the persisting society.
Eventually, Travis as a taxi driver represents all those people who experienced American dream that stands against any fantasy or imagination. A direct irony of urbanization and the affects of the same over Travis is the ultimate approach of the “Taxi Driver” that specifically marks the aspects of American dream in any American.