How does this quote from Travis in Taxi Driver relate to belonging?  "Thank god for the rain which helped wash the garbage and the trash off the sidewalks.... Someday a real rain will come and...

How does this quote from Travis in Taxi Driver relate to belonging?

 

"Thank god for the rain which helped wash the garbage and the trash off the sidewalks.... Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets"

Asked on by stevencuz

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

Travis' desire for a "real rain" reflects a lack of belonging to the current social setting in which he lives.  Travis does not necessarily feel connected to this particular context, except out of negation.  Travis' feelings of a need to cleanse arises from the idea that he has little in way of connection to it.  Travis is shown to be fluid, linking himself to little in way of anything redemptive.  His desire to save Iris is motivated by the need to purge and to establish himself as "the real rain."  This negation is enhanced by the end of the bloodbath where he tries to kill himself, only to fail in the process.  The quote reflects the "scum" to which Travis cannot or will not connect.  Travis sees little that is redemptive in his world, making his desire to belong in it even more difficult.  His relationship with Betsy ends up feeding into the larger narrative when he says, "I can see she was like everyone else."  The idea of Travis viewing himself as "God's lonely man" becomes the penultimate statement regarding his lack of belonging and the notion of "a real rain" for which Travis waits is reflective of how little redemptive belonging Travis has to this condition.

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