The Transformation of Travis Bickel in Taxi Driver

1. Introduction

Martin Scorsese’s 1976 film “Taxi Driver” is one of the most iconic films of all time. The movie tells the story of Travis Bickel, a taxi driver in New York City who slowly descends into madness. The film is widely considered to be one of the best films of all time and is highly influential.

2. The Personality of Travis Bickel

Travis Bickel is a complex and fascinating character. He is a loner who is extremely intelligent but lacks social skills. He is also a Vietnam War veteran who is deeply troubled by his experiences there. Travis is a volatile mix of anger, loneliness, and intelligence. He is someone who is constantly searching for something but doesn’t quite know what it is.

3. The Transition of Travis Bickel

The film follows Travis’ descent into madness as he becomes more and more isolated from society. This isolation leads him to become obsessed with cleaning up the city, which he sees as a filthy and corrupt place. He begins to believe that the only way to save the city is to kill corrupt politicians, like Senator Palantine. As Travis’ mental state deteriorates, he becomes more and more dangerous.

4. The Purpose of Travis Bickel’s Life

In the end, Travis finds purpose in his life when he rescues Iris, a young prostitute played by Jodie Foster. Iris represents everything that Travis hates about the city but also everything that he desires. She is both dirty and beautiful, both corrupt and innocent. By saving her, Travis feels like he has saved himself. In the end, Iris represents hope for Travis and for the city itself.

5. Conclusion

“Taxi Driver” is a complex and powerful film that explores the dark side of human nature. Travis Bickel is a fascinating character who slowly descends into madness. However, he eventually finds purpose in his life when he rescues Iris. The film is a scathing critique of urban life and its corrupting influence on people like Travis.


Travis Bickle is different from other taxi drivers in New York City because he is a loner who is disconnected from the rest of society. He is also a Vietnam War veteran who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, which makes him even more isolated.

Scorsese uses camera techniques to convey Bickle's personality by making him seem like an outsider looking in on the city. He often films Bickle from low angles, which makes him look small and insignificant. He also uses close-ups and handheld cameras to make Bickle seem unstable and unpredictable.

The significance of the scene in which Bickle talks to himself in the mirror is that it shows how alone he really is. He has no one to talk to and no one who understands him, so he turns to himself for companionship.

Betsy becomes fixated on Bickle because she represents everything that he wants but can never have. She is beautiful, successful, and popular, while Bickle is none of those things. She represents what he wishes he could be, which makes her all the more unattainable.

Bickle's downward spiral begins when Betsy rejects him after their date and continues when his attempts to help Iris, a young prostitute, fail miserably. These failures lead him to believe that violence is the only way to make a difference in the world, which leads him to attempt to assassinate a presidential candidate.

There are some redeeming qualities about Travis Bickle's character despite his many flaws. He does have moments of compassion, such as when he tries to help Iris escape her life of prostitution or when he saves Betsy from being raped by Sport utility vehicle driver assailants . Additionally , his ability taxi driving skills are top-notch as seen with his very efficient navigation around New York City streets . 7. What do you think Scorsese is trying to say about American society through this film? Scorsese is critical of American society in Taxi Driver, and he uses Travis Bickle as a vehicle to explore some of the country's most pressing issues. He tackles topics like racism, violence, mental illness, and the effects of the Vietnam War on veterans. Scorsese paints a very dark picture of America, but he also shows that there is hope for redemption if people are willing to help each other.

How does the film's title character, Travis Bickle, differ from other taxi drivers in New York City? Travis Bickle is a loner who is struggling with mental illness. He is fixated on violence and often has dark thoughts about killing people. He also becomes obsessed with Betsy, a woman he meets while driving a taxi. Other taxi drivers in New York City are not nearly as troubled as Bickle is, and they don't have the same dark thoughts or obsessions.