Analysis Of The Novel The Pledge

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The novel The Pledge is originally subtitled Requiem for the Detective Novel. In what way is The Pledge a traditional detective novel and in what way is it not? Discuss.

The Pledge is a crime novella written by Friedrich Dürrenmatt in the 1950’s. Since it was originally subtitled Requiem for the Detective Novel, this raises the question – how is it so different from other novels in the same genre? This question will be answered in this essay by thoroughly analyzing the plot as well as the personality of the protagonist, Matthäi.

This genre of crime is extremely appreciated in European literature at it strives hard to make people aware of the issues that exist in the society and this is something that many other genres try to avoid at all
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This is where the main difference between The Pledge and a traditional detective novel lies. In this novel, the detective has recourse to some actions and methods that common opinion would classify as evil and very immoral. The most notable example of this is when Matthäi decided to use a young girl as bait to try to capture the criminal when he makes his next move. This was an extremely risky decision and by the end on the novel, we realize that it was a poor one. It was his obsession and selfishness that were the reasons behind Matthäi’s reasoning. What is particular interesting is that he is able to hide these behaviors from others around him, appearing very normal on the …show more content…
However, this was not enough. As Herr M. says at the beginning of the novel, “reality can be only partially attacked by logic.” The issue with most detective fiction, as Herr M. sees it, is that “in your novels chance plays no part. You don’t try to get mixed up with the kind of reality that is always slipping through our fingers. Instead, you set up a world that you can manage. That world may be perfect – who knows? – but it’s also a lie.” As the story develops, it can be seen that although he planned every detail meticulously, Matthäi is destined to become the victim of the lie that Herr M. talks about. His plan fails miserably and affects everyone around him. What is very different from other traditional detective novels is that Dürrenmatt was very clever in introducing random elements of chance throughout the book. This does not only happen at the very end of the story when Matthäi fails to capture the criminal but also at the beginning when everything starts happening just when he is so close to moving to Jordan for his new

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