Essay about Religion & Purification in Taxi Driver

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"He's a profit and a pusher. Partly truth partly fiction. A walking contradiction." - Kris Kirstofferson In Martin Scorcese's Taxi Driver, Travis Bickle repeatedly expresses two ideas that are central to the film. First, Travis has an undying wish to purify the world. He wants to rid his city of all the evil and scum that currently inhabits the city's cold and damp streets. Second, is the method by which Travis tries to obtain his goals. Travis Bickle tries to clean up his city by methods similar to those of religious figures. He even takes on a role as a savior figure. Travis Bickle's quest to save the world via religious ideas fails, and instead results is a bloodbath. The first place where we are introduced to the…show more content…
Much like Noah, he believes that he will be saved, while everyone else in the world perishes from the torrents of water. Later in the film, Travis feels compelled to take action against this sleaze. He wants to help purify the world by eliminating the sleaze by whatever methods he deems appropriate. Even if this means killing his fellow man, then so be it. Another instance where we see Travis revert to this theme of purifier is when he first meets Betsy. The childish scrawl in his diary tells the story. "I first saw her at Palantine headquarters at 63rd and Broadway. She was wearing a white dress. She appeared like an angle. Out of this filthy mass. She is alone. They cannot touch her." In these few choice words, Travis Bickle again reemphasis the recurring religious references. In this specific instance, Travis's first words about his new love interest are, "She was wearing a white dress." White is traditionally a color used to represent purity. In Travis's eyes, Betsy is the virginal ideal that he must strive to obtain. To him she is his perfect match. Possibly the most important aspect of this quotation is the religious references that it conjures up. Travis refers to Betsy as an angel; she is one of the few people who does not sink down into the muck that covers the city. Another interesting aspect of this

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