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Written by Jenna Pappas
Irony of The Final Line
In the final line of the film Jake's associate, Lawrence Walsh, utters the now famous line, "Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown." Just seconds earlier Evelyn Mulwray, a woman whom Jake was solving a case for, was shot to death.
When Jake was younger he was a policeman in Chinatown and he has become cynical because he once got a woman hurt (presumed killed) whom he was trying to help. She got hurt as a direct result of his actions, and it seems with Evelyn Mulwray this is the same case. The quote is ironic because Walsh is asking Jake to forget the events that just occurred, but the audience knows this is impossible. Jake never forgot what happened the first time around in Chinatown so it's unlikely he will again, and will instead become more cynical.
Irony of Noah Cross
Noah Cross' name is ironic because Noah in the Bible protected others during a massive flood. However, Noah Cross is essential the opposite of Noah in the Bible. He aggravates a flood and takes lives throughout Chinatown. His last name being Cross, as in the cross which Christ was crucified, further supports with Biblical irony. While Christ sacrificed himself to save others, Noah Cross sacrificed others to save himself.
Irony of Jake's First Impression
Chinatown opens on J.J. Gittes (Jake) sitting his neat office wearing a designer three-piece suit, and appearing clean-cut. The irony is soon realized when the audience discovers Jake's dirty line of work. Even though he has the appearance of a moral man, his job involves him sneaking around and taking photos of spouse's having affairs to use as evidence in divorce cases. He is the complete opposite as to how he appears.
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