straight down the line

Where’s the Postman?

You could assume from the title of The Postman Always Rings Twice that there will be a postman somewhere in the story line and he will only ring twice, but after reading it, there was actually no post man and I guess the title was just for dramatic effect.  I will also say that I enjoyed reading it because I love anything that has to do with crime and mystery but I hated it because everyone lied and there was so much deceit!  I’ll have to get used to that though because that’s what noir is all about.  This is story was a bit hard for me to follow in the beginning just because it starts out with no introduction of any characters or of a scene, instead just dives head first into the action.  I noticed that fact after some of the readings last week and for the noir example I gave, Memento, it’s the same deal.  I think this is one trope that is starting to form, along with the fact that the characters are sketchy and on edge, there is crime and it’s almost always murder (obviously), and that all of those crimes tend to happen at night.  One of the focuses in this story also was sex which is expected because it’s always about getting the girl and not getting caught, etc. So I wasn’t surprised to see Cora cheat on Nick with Frank.

I also read The Killers by Ernest Hemingway, which again, the title was misleading and ironic because no one was actually killed but I guess I have to get used to that too!  This story also had the sleazy and mean guys (the “killers”) who would do anything they could to get done what they needed to, which can relate to Frank from The Postman.  I say this because Frank did whatever he could to be with Cora and he killed her husband to be with her.  This story didn’t have the women aspect as the other readings did, but the main characters made their intentions very clear that they wanted to kill Ole Andreson.  But as always in noir literature, the foreshadowing of a murder was there and even though it didn’t happen in the reading, the reader is able to complete the story in their mind and think that Ole Andreson will soon come to his demise.

The very first thing I will say about The Wild Party is that cliffhanger really got me. I was so into the story and then all of a sudden it stopped and I was quite upset.  But anyway, this poem was based mostly on sex, greed, and desire but it reminded me of The Postman.  I made the connection when I read these line from The Wild Party:

The Wild Party

It’s like the women in both the stories have no sense and are just okay with men killing the people they loved before the new man came along!  For some reason when I was reading this I thought about the party in The Great Gatsby.  I think a theme in this reading was that women are definitely not treated the same as men.  All these men thought the women were harlots (and maybe they were but that’s beside point), and Burrs thought it was okay that he fooled around with Kate but when Queen decided she was going to fool around with Black, that was not on any level okay.  It seems that in all of these noir readings, there are double standards for men and women and the men always have the higher rank.

Reflecting on these readings, I enjoyed them all.  Like I said before, I am not a fan of the cheating and lying and what not but it comes along with the crime and mystery aspects of noir.  I liked The Wild Party because it was in poem form, even though it was a little bit harder to comprehend.  The styles of these three different authors definitely shows how different and similar noir can be at the same time.  It was really interesting to see how the different authors used foreshadowing, cliff hangers and bluntness to get their point across.

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