Jake Gittes: The Antagonist In The Film Chinatown

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What makes an antagonist an antagonist is his willingness to do whatever it takes to reach his goal, no matter who or what gets hurt along the way. This includes the common people who are powerless against the evils that come to find them. In the 1974 film Chinatown, Noah Cross is the antagonist whose plan is to use innocent people and an entire city’s water supply to make a fortune. He doesn’t care about anyone he hurts along the way, even his own daughter, Evelyn Mulray, whom he’s taken advantage of before when she was very young. There is a multitude of others who are also hurt, even killed, because of their naivety or merely unfortunate timing with Cross’s agenda. These people are regular citizens of Los Angeles who are simply living their lives, unaware of the conspiracy going on around them. They are helpless victims to the evils brought upon them. The main character of the film, Jake Gittes, is the central victim of this movie. Although Evelyn does die, he has to live the rest of the life knowing that he failed to reach his goal. Gittes uncovers a plot that no one was supposed to know about, a plot that could land one of the most powerful forces in Los Angeles in prison. As the details he discovers get more and more convoluted, he realizes the case he has been hired for is not just about a cheating husband, but about corruption and fraud…show more content…
Almost every character who comes into contact with Noah Cross ends up with a less than desirable ending. Jake Gittes must live with his biggest failure and an awful truth no one will believe, the innocent citizens of Los Angeles will not even realize that their water supply is being taken from them, and poor Hollis and Evelyn Mulray have both been killed because of a selfish, horrible plot for money. This film truly shows how common, innocent people will be pushed around and taken advantage of by the evil of the world, the cruel reality of

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