“Times indeed were changing”
Early 19th century in the U.S, women’s housework was not considered real work because work consisted of getting a profit. Times were changing between 1960s and 1970s. Around the period, most women began to speak up. One of them is Betty Friedan. She wrote “The Feminine Mystique.” According to her, she spoke “The ‘mystique’ that Friedan spoke of was the image of the woman as mother, as wife, living through her husband, through her children, giving up her own dreams for that.”(505). And she mentioned that women should have a creative work of her own for the women. In the 60s’ women did not have choice to work outside, and give up their dreams for their families. However, the end of 60s the society changed that women had 40% of entire employee.
Moreover, “more important, people were beginning to speak of ‘Women’s Liberation.’” This movement represented by organizations. Witch was an organization for radical women. They said “There is no joining WITCH. If you are a woman and dare to look within yourself, you are a WITCH. You make your own rules.”(508) Women became strong and learned self-defense to protect them from sexual discrimination. Because, the law and government did not do anything for women, the only way they got rights was took action and protest themselves. This movement occurred in 1967. Women’s group had lobby President Johnson to banned sex discrimination in federally connected employment.
As feminist movements occurred, other movements also occurred by the Native Americans. Native Americans were attacked and subdued by the white invaders. They were forced to become a part of civilization but they never forget their root and culture. Moreover, the government violates every single treaty between them and the Indians. Indians wants their land back and their rights. This represents the movements that Indians resist both physical resistance and the artifacts of white culture. Also, “Indians were already gathering their energy for resistance, thinking about how to change their situation, beginning to organize.”(525) They already take action for their rights. Consequently, Indians were trying to take their rights and their land from white invaders. This represent as occupied Alcatraz Island in 1969. They want to show they could rebuild the land and make it a Native American Studies for Ecology. And the change was happening in the schools, teachers began throwing away textbooks that did not include or ignore Indians. There was a general rejection against oppressive and artifact.
Travis served in the United States Corps during the Vietnam War. He was controlled by rule and experienced killing people in the war. This experience made him more suffer to live in society even more in his job, a taxi driver. In the beginning of the movie “taxi driver”, Travis Bickle says “Someday a rain will come and wipe this scum off the street”. A job of taxi driver has no choice but to see the dark side of society. And he was tried to keep his temper all the time, when he saw crimes, prostitution, etc. It was most bothering thing to him, because he was a taxi driver. It means that he does not have any power to distinguish between right and wrong or make them correct. He just endured. This gap between his though and act made him to be suffer from insomnia.
Furthermore, Travis is a symbol of people who live in New York City. People who live in the city are agree that modern products have improved the quality of our lives but they feel lonely between people and feel of alienation from human society. These city people’s lonely and sense of alienation portrayed as the taxi driver. Travis came in contract with many people, but they became strangers after they arrived at their destination. He could drive anywhere in NYC, but it was just outside of the city. He did not connect with other people. His suffer would be represented by his saying, when he catch a holdup man. He said “A man takes a job, you know and that job becomes what he is.” Therefore, a lonely and isolated taxi driver became himself. Also, when we ask about who is he/she; we answered his/her job rather than description of him/her. This is well represented of 1970’s society.
“… If any freedman, free negro, or mulatto shall fail or refuse to pay any tax levied according to the provisions of the sixth section of this act, it shall be prima facie evidence of vagrancy, and it shall be the duty of the sheriff to arrest such freedman, free negro, or mulatto or such person refusing or neglecting to pay such tax, and proceed at once to hire for the shortest time such delinquent taxpayer to any one who will pay the said tax, with accruing costs, giving preference to the employer, if there be one.”
The Civil War gave the end of the slavery. It might seem blacks get freedom; however, southern whites who have white supremacy for a long time did not accept freedom of blacks or regard blacks as who have same right of whites. Therefore, they made “Black Codes” to control blacks. In other words, they made another name of slavery using word of black rather than using word of slavery. One of the black codes is about “vagrant law” which only applies for blacks. This law represents what kinds of behaviors can be a vagrant. Even if, blacks who do not have lawful employment have to be fined and if they do not pay such fine or tax, they immediately hired to employer by the sheriff. Worse than all, blacks easily can be a vagrant because they hard to getting their own property, jobs and low wages.