Cotton Dry Rage

At first the novel was a little slow, but it immediately picked up. This book really reminds me of Red Harvest, which does not shy away from violence, which makes up a substantial part of Cotton Comes to Harlem. The most interesting aspect of the book comes from the two characters, with names Coffin Ed and Grave Digger. They are reputed for being violent, and that is mostly what the audience sees. But deeper in, you can see that both really feel for the poverty, and both have an overwhelming urge to bring justice, although not always in the law. Also, both really dislike cooperating with the whites in the town, partly because they feel that they are responsible for the deplorable conditions many African Americans face. One of the most interesting things in the novel is the way the characters get information, by going to shady bars and interrogating “pigeons”. One of my favorite quotes comes from one of these bars, and its when a prostitute says “I’m a respectable lady.” (36). The prostitute make no sense saying this line, but it does give a glimpse at “underworld” customs and behavior. In these shady places, its looked down upon to even interact in a way a prostitute and a “customer” interact. This shows how much these people really loathe the police in general. Finally, although there are many differences between Red Harvest and this book, one striking similarity I find is the detecting skills and the ingenuity of the detectives. They are shown to be very intelligent in both books and both novels have detectives very adept at manipulation, which is very interesting.

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