Paradigms in The Big Lebowski Essay

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Paradigms in The Big Lebowski The Big Lebowski
According to Robert B. Ray’s “The Thematic Paradigm,” classical Hollywood develops “character(s that) magically embody diametrically opposite traits (299).” This method is used to appeal to “a collective American imagination steeped in myths of inclusiveness (299).” In other words, characters that portray a wide variety of traits, in many cases opposite traits, appeal to the American audience by embodying a portion of each viewer in the character. This method is clearly portrayed through the characters in the movie, “The Big Lebowski.”
“The Big Lebowski,” is about “The Dude” (Jeff Bridges), a down-and-out, unemployed drifter who is still living in the haze of the '60s. Most of his time
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The Dude finds out that the crooks are looking for Bunny Lebowski, The Big Lebowski's wife, who owes a great deal of money to porn producer Jackie Treehorn. Treehorn's men mistake The Dude for the The Big Lebowski and it takes them a while to realize their error. After the crooks soil The Dude’s carpet, The Dude arranges a meeting with the Big Lebowski. However, rather than going home with a new carpet, The Dude finds himself employed as the courier handling the ransom for the Big Lebowski’s kidnapped wife. However, Walter thinks The Dude should keep the money. In a twist, Maude Lebowski, The Big Lebowski's daughter, wants the money returned to her family. In the meantime the Dude’s car is stolen with the one million dollars in the back seat. To top matters off, there's some question about whether Bunny is really in any danger.
In this movie, “The Dude,” embodies contradicting characteristics. At one point, he is lazy, mellow, carefree, while at critical moments he is conscientious and assertive. Throughout the movie glimpses of these traits are shown. The first scene for instance, introduces us to the Dude, the bum. He is in a grocery store when he opens a carton of milk, smells it, and then proceeds to drink it. Then when he is checking out he writes a check for a total of .87 cents. This epitomizes the deadbeat. We immediately see that the Dude cares

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