I enjoyed the manner with which Moslem used these two themes In particular to discuss some societal Issues. Starting with a brief summary of the novel, I intend to expatiate on these two themes in subsequent paragraphs. The Plot Set in Los Angels in 1948, the Devil in a Blue Dress is centered on the character of Ezekiel 'Easy" Railings a black man who had fought in World War II and who has Just lost his Job at an aircraft company and desperate to find a means of earning an income to meet his financial needs especially his mortgage payment.
Ease's aspiration leads him to accepting a Job from Dewitt Albright to find a young white lady Daphne Monet. Although Dewitt Albright had a questionable personality, Easy accepted the job after assurance from Albright that the task does not portend any significant problem with the law. Moreover, it was an opportunity to earn some money and considering his financial situation he had to accept the Job. As the story progresses, Easy comes to realize that things are far more complicated than he could have thought. He Is accused of murder, at risk of being hurt by Albright henchmen Easy is expected to track down is not who they say she is.
Easy along with Mouse have to find their way out of the predicament they find themselves while avoiding being dragged in by the nets of the law. The plot of the novel is typical of what to expect from a top-notch detective fiction novel, lots of deaths and intrigues and a proper dose of suspense. Moslem ensured that the chapters were brief yet; almost each of the chapters carried a new twist to the overall plot. Although the overriding theme is that or race and racism and the influence of money on the inhabitants of society, one can identify other inconspicuous issues raised in the novel such as sexual perversity, independence and war.
Order custom essay Reading Response to Devil in a Blue Dress with free plagiarism report
Theme: Race and Racism A major theme in the novel is that of race and racism, the setting of 1948 is obviously a time when the United States of America had very visible racial segregation lines and it was refreshing to read a novel that captured this issue as it were back then. Moslem sought to highlight how racial inclinations dictated how the different characters relate with each other and/or how it affects the manner in which they respond to events. Even from Ease's first encounter with Albright- a white man, it was clear that their different racial backgrounds indicated problems ahead.
Having fought alongside white men during the war, Easy must have been very disappointed to return only to see that segregation lines are still very visible. In a way, I think Ease's bewilderment was captured in his explanations of his wartime relationship with white men. Stating how he ate and slept with them, and even killed some blue-eyed young men during the war. For Easy, it was refreshing to know that white people were Just as afraid to die as he was (Moslem, 1990) the theme of racism was also inked to authority and how those who believe they are racially superior exerted it.
This was evident in the way Albright consistently called Easy "boy' to send a clear message as to be racial superiority. Moreover, it was quite fascinating to see how Moslem used the novel to highlight and dispel insinuations that the issue of race and racism is well defined. For instance, Moslem showed that race and racism are not that clearly defined; for someone like Daphne Monet who feels lost not being able to clearly establish which side of the divide she belongs. Another case is that of Benny, Ease's former boss.
Benny is of mixed racial background and despite Ease's description of him as being darker than most mixed-race blacks around, Benny considers himself racially superior to Easy. Furthermore, Moslem tries to show us how undefined race and racism is with the information that Daphne Monet is not white but black. Ease's response to this revelation is that of disbelief and rightly so. As far as Easy is concerned, Daphne Monet is white. "l looked at her to see the truth. But it wasn't there. Her nose, cheeks, and her skin color - they were white. Daphne was a white woman" (Moslem, 1990).
Moreover, it is not all about the dark for race and racism in the Moslems work. The author in my view sought to highlight how people from different racial backgrounds can along well with each other. Ease's reasonable relationship with Primp as well as his statement about the Negro and Mexican being the same lays credence to this as both blacks and Mexicans are both at the receiving end of racial discrimination from the whites (Moslem, 1990). Theme: Money The theme of money and how it directs the actions of the various characters in the novel Just like race and racism is a recurring issue in the novel.
Throughout the plot, pushes some of the characters to the extreme. In fact, so evident is the theme of money in the plot of this novel that most of the deaths that occurred can be traced to the influence of money. Ease's financial constraint and his acceptance of Albright offer sets the tone for the theme of money and from then we start to see how each character's financial gain influences their actions. Moreover, I found it interesting that Moslem sought to separate Easy from the rest of the pack. From the beginning, Moslem tried to show what was behind Ease's quest to achieve financial stability and reducibility.
We are made to see Easy as a man that was so passionate of keeping his most priced assets, which is his house. Easy speaks dearly of his house as the only thing he has got and the only thing worth fighting for and this influences his decision to accept the Job from Albright with a view to earning some money to make his mortgage payment. This is in stark contrast to other characters in the novel whose aim to achieve some level of financial freedom stem from greed. Violence and War I believe a reader response on the Devil in a Blue Dress will not be complete without brief commentary on the theme of violence and war.
Although in my opinion, nothing in particular stands out on these two issues in the novel, one cannot ignore the recurring nature of physical violence and war in the novel. Moslem did not disappoint in the area of physical violence as will be expected from a detective fiction novel, there are lots of deaths to evoke the air of mystery and to build up suspense. As for the theme of war, Easy could not shake off his experience of fighting in the Second World War and this is understandable considering the abundance of events hat sees him reminiscing and relating happenings in his environment to memories of the way.
It is refreshing to see how his experience of war helps him to develop a balanced approach to things. Ease's war experience also helps him to see other ways of solving problems rather than resorting to violence like most other characters in the novel. To this, we have to acknowledge the influence of "the Voice" in helping Easy make the right choices and it worthy of note that "the Voice" was created in Ease's war days. Reference Moslem, W. (1990). Devil in a blue dress. Washington Square Press: New York
Did you know that we have over 70,000 essays on 3,000 topics in our database?