“Hey I’m not square. You’re the one that’s square. You’re full of shit, man. What are you talkin’ about? You walk out with those fuckin’ creeps and lowlifes and degenerates out on the street and you sell your, sell your little pussy for nothin’ man. For some lowlife pimp – stands in a hall. I’m, I’m square? You’re the one that’s square, man. I don’t go screw and fuck with a bunch of killers and junkies the way you do. You call that bein’ hip? What world are you from?”
In a scene in the movie, Travis attempts to save Iris. In doing so he finds himself determining what is right from wrong in her situation accompanied by his age and morality. Iris readily accepts this notion of being cared for when he does step up to rescue her from a “poisonous existence.”
Iris is a merely a child in a society filled with corruption and misery. The life she settles for as a prostitute under the care of pimps, is a life she seems to be content with. It somehow appeared to be as though she found It thrilling to live around men calling her names and abusing her.This life being the closest she might get to a thrilling life away from the conventional suburban one that she left behind in Pittsburgh. New York, to her is where the people who really cared for her lived, she was independent but nonetheless had someone who she thought she could rely on (Sport, her pimp). She tried beyond reach to prove her womanhood. Although while conversing with Travis, her obvious juvenile identity is revealed by her childlike table manners. To her, Travis is a father figure, a person who by means of civility takes up the responsibility to make her a better person in a society as such. The attempt that Travis makes in saving her, gives him a sense of fulfillment. Saving her makes up for the lost lust that he could have gained from Betsy .But his heroic act at the end of the movie doesn’t seem relevant anymore because she believed that Sport genuinely cared for her outside being her pimp.
Iris is portrayed as a damaged young girl seeking attention in a corrupt environment, she needs a place in society and therefore settles for the one that comes to her easy.