Five Easy Pieces directed by Bob Rafaelson is among the greatest films of the Hollywood 1970’s golden era. In the film, the character of Bobby Dupea is the archetype of numerous heroes from that period. Bobby gets stuck in two worlds (Rafaelson). He is a man who cannot fit into the American society and is making efforts to find a place where he truly belongs. One of the outstanding features of the 1970’s films was the character’s struggle to deal with the problem of alienation that was prevalent in the America at that time. This emerged from the sixties as the rejection of both the working class and leisure class values. The film portrays an individual trying so hard to deal with the alienation problem without being a counter culture hippie. Most of the post sixties era exhibited the theme of alienation. The theme of alienation also defined the 70’s era. However, in recent films of the 1990’s and 1980’s era, alienation has been reflected to the extreme with the so bloody and violent action films. The heroes in these movies are violent, anti-social and alienated. They have no societal respect at large. The first scenes of “Five Easy Pieces” show the main character Bobby as a typical oil mine worker. Bobby puts a lot of energy in his work to get his money. He spends his leisure time playing time drinking beer, playing cards, watching television and bowling. At the beginning of the film, Bobby gets reflected as a happy person, but as the film progresses he gets revealed. as a man dissatisfied with his life (Rafaelson). Rayette’s clingy mature annoys Bobby so much. He loathes country music and dislikes the way his girlfriend lives her life through Tammy Wynette songs. Rayette seems to play songs for every occasion of her life. When they go out with their friends Stoney and Elton, Bobby could not enjoy the bowling. He is angry and highly competitive at Rayette’s inexperience in the game. At some point, he later cheats on his girlfriend with a woman named Sally Struthers. This shows the relationship trend at the time, where men cheated on their wives and girlfriends (Boyer 87).
In contrast with his coworker and friend Elton, Bobby hates the life that comes with their job. Elton loves spending time with his wife and kid. His job at the oil field is due to lack of skills and that the job provides the basic needs for his family. Elton represents the working class who are in pursuit of the American dream. Bobby is more interested in worldly things. This film is a reflection of how the mid-seventies society got focused on the American dream.
The contrast between the two characters gets clearly depicted in the scene where Elton and Bobby are in stuck in the freeway