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The Big Lebowski

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Who is The Dude

In the opening sequence for the film, The Big Lebowski the narrator describes Jeffery Lebowski, who refers to himself as The Dude, as the man for the right time and place, which is the early nineties during the Gulf War in Los Angeles. The Dude doesn't fit any stereotype for the typical man of that time. He is, in fact, much more relatable to a burned out hippie. The Dude has no job, he does not care about a salary nor does it seem like he cares about money for that matter as he either does not have much of it or sees no reason to spend it on anything other than basic necessities. He is a bachelor and lives alone in a shabby apartment decorated with old, tarnished furniture. The Dude is also lazy, he spends most of his time napping and smoking pot, taking semi-frequent breaks to go bowling or drink the occasional white Russian. He lives a laid back, care free lifestyle and his appearance reflects this. His hair is long and barely kept, he sprouts a goatee, he wears loose, baggy clothes that look worn out, although he occasionally substitutes them with a bowling shirt. His car is a beat up, rusted out, 1973 Ford Gran Torino, symbolic of the era that he seems to have been yanked out of. The Dude is ripped from his laid back life when a case of mistaken identity results in a pee-stained rug. In his quest to have his rug replaced he is forced to play detective in a case involving kidnapping and ransom, neo-feminists, pornographers, nihilists, and embezzlement.

The Dude, although not much is known of his past, it is clear was not always the slacker that he is in the movie. He states that he went to college - although he does not remember most of it and admitted to spending much of his time occupying administration buildings- he was also a political activist, claiming to be the writer of the original Port Huron Statement and to be behind the Seattle Seven, a radical activist group who at encouraged violent protest. The Dude appears to have at some point just stopped caring about the world and retired to his own comfort. At this point in his life, it seems as though The Dude lives in the moment and only cares about satisfying his own desires. Even though he was at one point quick to jump in to protest any cause, he now chooses them carefully, and his chief concern throughout the movie is the replacement of his rug, because, as he states in the movie, "it really tied the room



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