As I read Mildred Pierce, rather, when I started reading it, I was extremely confused as to how this could at all be a hardboiled book. But after sitting through one of our classes and having Professor Groom point out little details of hardboiled-ness, like the scene with Miss Turner, it has become glaringly obvious. A book does not have to have the genre actually included into it for it to be considered hard-boiled. The writing and dialog between most characters is what makes it a true hardboiled novel.
Mildred is not a very smart woman. I say this because throughout the entire first half of the book, she has hardly once thought for herself. She has people always telling her what and how to do things. (ex. Mrs. Gessler, Wally, Bert, Miss Turner, and Ida) Yes, she is very good at getting the things done, but never has an original idea of her own. I guess you could say that her restaurant was her own creation, but even then it was inspired by being embarrassed by Veda, and also the actual plan of action is designed by Wally. Her dropping out of school at a young age probably didn’t help. Also, I noticed that pride seems to be quite a big part of why every character does what they do. Veda, Bert, and Mildred are all driven by pride and anything that jeopardizes it is simply un-doable.
Just got past the points of meeting Monty and the restaurant opening, along with little Ray’s death from the flu, which I was particularly upset at how much they downplayed her death, almost as a sign that the character wasn’t needed and it is now down to who actually affects the story line.
In beginning my thoughts of who to connect Mildred Pierce to, I say that so far she closely resembles Dinah Brand. No, she hasn’t had anyone killed yet, but she uses each man in her life for different reasons, to further herself almost, similar to Dinah Brand being a gold digger. This is only an idea of mine and I don’t actually believe that further down the line I will still think this, but I am open to finding out who my classmates believe she resembles more.