straight down the line

That Awkward Moment…

#Thatawkwardmoment when you actually start enjoying the assigned readings and can’t stop reading because you want to find out what happens. Well, that is what occurred while I was reading the assigned readings to give me more of the flavor of noir.  I guess I will always love a good story.

The first noir story I read was the assigned The Postman Always Rings Twice. Even though I think I hated every character in this story besides Nick, who unfortunately ends up dead, for no other reason than he married the wrong person, I really liked the way it was written, which is what I am determining to be the noir style. The entire story was short, concise sentences. If they weren’t super short, they were usually made up of many sentence fragments. There was very little sensory details. All descriptions were was straight forward and to the point, as told by the narrator, who narrated the entire time in the first person. This narration often led the reader to the same false conclusions and misjudgments that the narrator, Frank, jumped to, for example, when he believes without a shadow of a doubt that Cora is going to prison and is a goner.

I think this one-sided narrator is a large part of noir, because mysteries and being blindsided by the truth is a recurring theme. The piece I read next was The Shadow, where the story is primarily told from Dr. Evans’s point of view, and he is completely surprised in the end to learn that one of the people he had perceived as a friend ended up his enemy. I really like the theme of misconceptions was interwoven in the first two readings. Also, the idea of the all-knowing Shadow character in noir, as the one character who is supposed to be feared and despised by society, but ends up solving the crime and finding the truth.

The last story I read was The Killers by Ernest Hemingway, which was actually the first work I had ever read by him. I liked the irony of the title, since the killers never actually committed any crimes. It goes along with the same theme that the others had of misconceptions. I also liked that all of the noir relied heavily on dialogue, which allowed readers to get glimpses into other characters besides the narrator.

After reading about the various different tropes, I definitely saw the anti-hero weaving into every story, like the hero being the Shadow. Frank Chambers was definitely supposed to be the Jerk with the Heart of Gold, but in my opinion he was still just a jerk.  I perceived Cora to be more of a femme fatale, a trope I don’t particularly care for, but she still created a good read.

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