Three Great quotes on just two pages!

In “Red Harvest” by Dashiell Hammett, I found quotes that have separate importance and yet they occur very close together.  On page 142, the second paragraph in whole says “She called me a damned double-crossing something or other who didn’t care what happened to her as long as his dirty work got done,” and I mean wow! this quote plays along to exactly what is going on.  This portrays Dinah Brand’s character as more than she appears because she is the first one to catch on that this detective just plays everyone.  Also, you can see the main character as a non-caring workman who really does just want to get “his dirty work” done.

Another important quote that I noticed was only a couple paragraphs below it when one of his back up detectives describes what he saw that day with simple, one-word phrases.  He says what he saw with “Five.  Home.  Busy.  Kept Plant.” and I really had to read that a few times before noticing that it all gets explained in the following paragraph.  This kind of writing follows Hemingway’s writing style of keeping most to all emotions out of descriptions in order for the reader to truly understand how important this is for the plot and yet not good enough for full sentences.

On the opposite page near the bottum, there was a key conversation between Noonan and the main character when Noonan seems to kind of give up and say “Everybody’s killing everybody.  Where’s it going to end?”  This changes Noonan characterization a bit because we now see him to be caring about all of the deaths that occurred recently, but then the detective talks him into going after Whisper anyway.  I really like how he says “where” it will end instead of “when” because this implies that the constant killing cycles will be have to be mutually determined to be over when all of the people both sides wanted dead are dead.  Saying when would have made the reader believe that the police of this town are able to control the violence, but now we know that that is not how it will end.  Foreshadowing?

This entry was posted in Hard Boiled Posts. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *