Study Guide

Ghostbusters Ray (Dan Aykroyd)

Ray (Dan Aykroyd)

Little Man

As Venkman shouts to the adoring crowds, Dr. Raymond Stantz is "the heart of the Ghostbusters." From the first moment we meet Stantz, he's pumped about the paranormal. When he bursts into Venkman's office, he's positively gushing;

RAY: Peter, at 1:40 PM at the main branch of the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue, ten people witnessed a free floating, full torso, vaporous apparition. It blew books off shelves from twenty feet away and scared the socks off some poor librarian!

There you have it. Probably more than any other character, Dr. Stantz shows an unbridled enthusiasm for anything that's spectral, vaporous, and dripping with ectoplasm. Mainly, it's this boyish enthusiasm that earns him his heart-of-the-Ghostbusters merit badge. Yeah, most of the time he's excited about something slimy, but he also gets excited over simple things, like... a fire pole...

RAY: Hey! Does this pole still work? Wow! This place is great! When can we move in? You've got to try this pole! I'm gonna get my stuff.

Hey, can you blame him? Not gonna lie: we've been lobbying for a fire pole at Shmoop HQ for years.

Later, we get even more evidence that Ray is a little boy inside when Gozer asks them to choose the form of the Destructor. Peter tells everybody to clear their minds, but Ray can't help but think of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man and all his fun days at camp roasting marshmallows. As the giant Marshmallow Man stomps down the street, Ray reverts to childhood, and for a moment is too far gone to be any help.

Ray Stantz the Science Guy

Though he might act like a little boy sometimes, Ray is a real-deal scientist who knows his stuff when it comes to ghosts. He can easily spout enough science-y sounding jargon to convince anybody that he knows what he's talking about (anybody that's not a real scientist anyway).

It's Ray who leads the guys in catching their first ghost Slimer and Ray that figures out the architecture of Dana's apartment building makes it prime real estate for "Spook Central."

Another interesting thing about Ray is that, despite the fact that for years he's been totally willing to believe in the paranormal without any proof, he's skeptical about the existence of God. When Winston asks him if he believes in God, Ray tells him that he's "never met him." This again seems to show Dr. Stantz as a man of science, who wants to be able to prove the things he believes in.

Hmm… wonder how he feels about gods after he meets an ancient Sumerian one in the flesh.

Big Man

Some of Ray's funniest moments come when he shows his sense of self-importance. In the Ghostbusters' commercial we can tell that Ray is taking it all very seriously, but the best example is when he tries to scare off Gozer with this gem of a speech:

RAY: Gozer the Gozerian! Good evening. As a duly designated representative of the state, county, and city of New York, I order you to cease any and all supernatural activity and return forthwith to your place of origin or to the nearest convenient parallel dimension.

In the words of Peter Venkman,

PETER: That ought to do it. Thanks very much, Ray.

Sufficed to say, Gozer is not as impressed with Ray's newfound position as he seems to be and the god zaps the living daylights out of the Ghostbusters soon after this.

But we can't fault Ray too much: how exactly are you supposed to talk to an ancient evil god anyway?

(Answer: Very politely)

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