RARA-AVIS: the postman always rings twice

From: Robison Michael R CNIN ( Robison_M@crane.navy.mil)
Date: 03 May 2002

hi everybody!

well, i just recently finished james cain's _the postman always rings twice_. it was good. i liked it. a lot went on in a hundred pages.

although the differences are innumerable, i noted some striking similarities between it and charles williams's
_river girl_. two people fall in love, a spouse is killed, they invent a complex story in an attempt to cover up their involvement, and almost get away with it. the guy accidentally causes the woman's death, and goes to jail for murder. the female characters are strikingly similar, too. they both appear tough at first but end up relying on the male to clean up the mess.

bottom line here is that i have a question. is cora a femme fatale? i don't honestly know. i'm inclined to say no because to me the classic one is brigid (sp?) from hammett's _maltese falcon, and she's a lot tougher, a lot more selfconfident, and a lot more manipulative than cora. cora seems like a "sweet" girl who commits this murder out of desperation. but then again, i can also justify the opinion that she is a femme fatale, because she lures a man into committing a serious crime for her.

one last comment: cain's dialogue shows a strong influ- ence from hemingway.



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