jake gittes character analysis

In the movie China Town Jake Gittes depicts some of the traits of your typical indifferent private investigator dealing with his clients’ marital issues including recording their adulterous acts. Jake was never fazed by anything and was a big advocate of provocative humor, even when he seemed to always find a dead end when he has a strong hunch about something. Jake seemed to be sort of a underdog of the film even from his grungy brown worn out jacket that made him seem classified as lower class in contrast to his associates wardrobes. Also the fact that throughout the whole film he was mocked by his passed various times.

Gittes always frosted things up with some racy humor, with that being said it makes sense why his current job is a pun to him due to the fact that he had worked in Chinatown before as a police officer where the case he took on was awfully deceptive which led to a woman getting hurt. The film did not give detail on the events that took place at that time but it was so devastating to Gittes that he quit the force. As we all know the case that Gittes takes on takes him symbolically back to Chinatown. It is believed that we as humans involuntarily pursue people, situations, and events that recreate traumatic events in order to overcome the events that left an intangible mark on us.

As shown in the film Jake is relentless when it comes to the cases isn’t fazed by threats or by failures he kept himself going, throughout the movie he uses physical force against men and woman. Gittes never once was an armed man which is pretty ironic. Even though he has robust characteristics and shows no vulnerability to physical threats he is prone to them. He wears a a band aid throughout most of the film. Unlike most protagonist when he would overlook an imperative piece of information and putting hints inaccurately. In the film Jake struggles to grasp the bigger picture, which is one of the main foundations that build his character throughout the film.

Jake Gittes always seemed to be passionate about being a detective; we see that when he crosses paths with Lt. Escobar you can tell that he carries a passion for police work and uncovering mysteries. He actually advised Mrs. Mulray from the beginning of the investigation that he wants to help her husband and then eventually help her and her sister/daughter. This shows that his true aspirations are using his investigating talent to help people triumph their evils. Although at the end of the film when tragedy struck again in Chinatown he mumbled the words “ as little as possible” which is the thematic words of gittes whole character he has yet again was the bystander of a malevolent event failing another woman right in Chinatown. This final resolution leads to the realization that evil wasn’t inherited in Chinatown just like Noah Cross didn’t attain his evil there or Mrs. Mulrays’ inevitable involvement. Chinatown is just a peculiar representation of the rest of the world. Instead of Jake redeeming himself from his past it just destroy him further he ends up being a tragic figure versus being a hero.

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