Film Noir: A Literary Analysis

Superior Essays
Film Noir started when American film change its context to a much darker subject matter due to the aftermath of World War II. Based from the article of Christopher McColm, McColm gathers information to review the book “Blackout: World War II and the origins of Film Noir” whose author is Sheri Chinen Biesen. In the book, Biesen argues that the term noir emerged during the war era. Noir authors used the concept of post-war American angst to relay to the audience that noir fiction tends to communicate the dreadful situation we have in our society with the use of the protagonist’s detailed narration. In noir fiction, there consists an anti-hero, who reflects more to real people, a femme fatale and selfish people who all live in a corrupt society, …show more content…
Cain’s Double Indemnity, both the authors use hard-boiled fictions to highlight the effect of corruption within Los Angeles to the characters’ actions and attitudes. Chandler and Cain use their protagonist’s detailed narration to show us their viewpoint of their society. Through their narration, we hear their side of the story and we tend to sympathize their actions despite their immoral conduct. The protagonists are portrayed as anti-heroes because they are not perfect and we see some of our resemblance and denied weaknesses in them. John Dalmas in “Red Wind” and Walter Huff in Double Indemnity are the anti-heroes who both live in the city of Los Angeles and are faced with consequences because of their actions. Both Dalmas and Huff violate the law without any hesitation and therefore had to deal with the result in the end. They do not consider what their actions are going to cause because they are only concern with their current desires. These characters though are not merely evil people since their actions are purely because of their improper decisions and bad influence from other people. Chandler and Cain use their anti-heroes to convey to the readers that people may have flawed characteristics but only because they are easily manipulated which reveals they still have a pinch of goodness within them which can be proven towards the end of the story. This slight goodness within the characters can also imply that the corrupt …show more content…
According to the article “Non-Monetary Effects of the Financial Crisis in the Propagation of the Great Depression” by Ben S. Bernanke, Bernanke writes “Waves of bank failures culminated in the shutdown of the banking system in March 1933. On the other side of the ledger, exceptionally high rates of default and bankruptcy affected every class of borrower” (Bernanke 1). This implies that people will most likely do whatever it takes in order to earn for a living. Without food to eat and money to spend, people are desperate for money. People’s desperation for money is relevant in noir fictions which is clearly obvious in Double Indemnity. Phyllis’ characteristics are a living proof of the people’s behaviors during the Great Depression and post-war era. Phyllis manipulated Huff to commit immoral conducts for her own sake and Cain explained more of how twisted her character is when we found out about her other murder cases towards the end of the story. Keyes mentioned to Huff that Phyllis is a “Pathological Case” (Cain 105) and explained that “This woman would even kill two extra children, just to get the one child that she wanted, and mix things up so it would look like one of those cases of negligence…” (Cain 106). Cain characterized Phyllis as someone who is only concerns of her own thinking and considering that she is committing a deadly sin. Cain wants to convey that

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