portrayals of alienation
Friday, January 8 2010
Gretchen returned from Florida at some point this evening. I showed her the new stove, though her arrival had come a little earlier than expected and I hadn't had a chance to build a roaring fire.
This afternoon and evening I watched the classic movie Taxi Driver. It was a good (though not great) film. At times I found myself becoming exasperated with the seemingly-unjustified alienation of our hero, Travis Bickle. This reminded me of the same feeling I'd had about the alienation of Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye. I don't know if I've ever seen growing alienation depicted in an accessible way, but the status of Taxi Driver and Catcher in the Rye suggest that the standards held by most people for the portrayal of alienation are considerably lower than mine. Whatever its faults, Taxi Driver made up for them in the end, when our hero, who had been made out to be something of a paranoid psychopath, [spoiler alert] is suddenly celebrated as a hero. I didn't know much about the movie and this twist came as a complete surprise.
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