In this weeks readings for noir106, I started of with “The Postman Always Rings Twice“. The novel is a great example of what noir is through use of sexual tension and crime to display the plot along with addressing the point of the novel to the reader.
Frank Chambers, who is narrating in first person, stops at diner in rural California for a meal but quickly ends up working there with the owner Nick Papadakis and his wife Cora. Cora married Nick, or the Greek, not out of love but for a life that was comfortable. Soon after Frank started working at the diner, Cora and him fell in love. Because Cora is tired of her situation there and eventually wants to own and run the diner on her terms, Cora and Frank come up with a plan to murder the Greek. There first plan to murder the Greek by striking him in the head and making it look like he fell and drowned in the tub failed. So there next plan to murder the Greek was to fake a car accident. In attempting to peruse this plan, Cora and Frank end up getting injured in this car accident. Both Frank and Cora avoid punishment but later Cora is killed in an accident where Frank is driving. This is where we see the purpose of the title, “postman knocking twice,” as a symbol of the warning for that bad that is to happen in the novel.
Next I read Hemingway, “The Killers,” which is a short story about two hit men during the prohibition. Staying consistent with noir, the short story starts off at night with the two hit man waiting for their target to arrive which creates suspense for the reader. When the guy they are suppose to kill never shows up, they just leave and someone from the diner goes and warns their target, Ole Anderson, that two guys are out to get him and then nothing else happens. This novel disappointing me because it just left me there having to make up what happens in the end on my own. To me, Hemingway should have tied up the plot better where Ole Anderson was killed our escaped in a crafty way.
The last reading that I chose was “The Shadow: Death Triangle.” Here I was able to find a video recording on YouTube that I listened to while I read. This reading too fit perfect into what noir is, dark, mysterious, murder and a detective that is mysterious and unknown. Out of all the reading I read, this one was my favorite because it kept you on yours toes the whole time along with having a twist to the one who was trying to kill everyone.