Re: RARA-AVIS: academic questions

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 11 Aug 2003

miker, while I agree that "manipulation through sexual attraction is the key" to a femme fatale (nice turn of phrase, by the way), I'm not sure that applies to The Talented Mr. Ripley. While Ripley was certainly sexually attracted to Dickie Greenleaf, I don't believe Dickie manipulated Tom. As a matter of fact, for the most part he seemed oblivious to Tom's attraction. Very slight spoiler -- When he did become aware (or at least his fiancee did), he rejected Tom, with fatal consequences. However, Tom doesn't really fit the mold either. He may have mooched off Dickie, but he didn't really manipulate him. So if he was a femme fatale, he was a pretty incompetent one, as he was not able to attract his prey.


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