RARA-AVIS: _Mildred Pierce_

From: Jay Gertzman ( jgertzma@earthlink.net)
Date: 11 Jul 2003

I am going to lead a discussion soon at the local B&N of Cain's
_Mildred Pierce_. I am not sure it fits into the noir tradition, in that there is no crime committed. And the darn thing is prolix. However, it is certainly hard boiled, and the motivations of both Mildred and Veda are fascinating. They seems to be the only characters with power and control, except for Mildred's mentor and friend Mrs. Gessler. It seems to me the Depression is a powerful force in the book, and that Mildred especially gets the desperation to succeed financially from it. Yet is it more responsible for what Mildred does than is Veda, and is Mildred responsible for Veda's feelings for her? Is Veda a monster or is she also a victim of fate, i.e., the Depression? I'd appreciate any ideas. Thanks

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