Sunday, April 29, 2012

Red Wind: Literary Analysis

    Red Wind is a detective/crime short story by Raymond Chandler in 1946 which also falls into the hard-boiled fiction category. The story adds to his collection of detective short stories, novels and screenplays. The story like many of his other story falls under the hard-boiled fiction category.  Red wind has a great story line, a lot of imagery, and motifs.

    Red Wind take place on a warm night in Southern California, we know this because that is where the Santa Ana winds occur. Chandler opening paragraph grabs your attention from the start of the story when he described the effect the Santa Ana winds have on the town and the people. We know from the beginning this is an important part in the story and will be reminded throughout the entire story.

    The main character in the story is a detective by the name of Philip Marlowe, this is a main character in many of Chandlers other stories. Marlowe is also the narrator of the story so we see things through his prospective and since he is a detective he notices a lot of things and goes into great detail. There is also a lot of imagery in the story almost as if you are there yourself. Marlowe is minding his own business in a bar with two other people, a drunk at the end of the and the bartender. A man walks in looking for a woman and give a very detailed description of the woman's outfit which sets a red flag off in the narrators head.  The drunk at the end of the bar ends up killing the man who he calls "Waldo" and runs out. This is all in the first chapter of the story. Having the murder take place in the first chapter hooks the reader and this isn't even the climax of the story.

    Since Marlowe is a detective and the man charter he finds out many things throughout the story such as the woman's name is Lola and she was meeting "Waldo" to get her pearls, The killer (who he caught) killed "Waldo" because he went to jail for a bank robbery and he didn't, Lola's husband is having an affair and was being blackmail by "Waldo". All of these characters tie into each other at the end of the story. In the end of the story we see Marlowe as a chivalrous hero. He has showed courage and sensitive from enter a stranger's home to help Lola find her pearls to having an encounter with death when the killer tries to eliminate all the witness who were at the bar. Chandler puts Lola in the story as a damsel in distress to show Marlowe sensitivity he says he'll do anything for her after she saves his life. Marlowe goes out of his way to protect her feelings and always has her best interest at heart. The red winds which we also see throughout the story are a motif for violence and death since crazy things are said to happen when the winds are out. I believe the author uses red winds because read makes you think of blood and violence as well.

    All of Marlowe's characteristics are the ones a hard-boiled detective should have. He is a complete man and common man yet an unusual man with his eyes on the prize. The elements such as the dark nights with not many people on the street and harsh winds also play into the hard-boiled fiction. The whole story screams hard-boiled.


Picture Source:

    "C a B I N E S S E N C E: Red Dawn." C a B I N E S S E N C E. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. <http://thecentralshaft.blogspot.com/2010/10/red-dawn.html>.


    "SOEY MILK: Fall2010." SOEY MILK. Web. 29 Apr. 2012. <http://milkbomb.blogspot.com/2011/01/fall2010.html>.





 

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