Re: RARA-AVIS: Marlowe's morality

From: Mark Sullivan (
Date: 02 Sep 2003


I gotta agree with you. In arguing about the difference between amoral and immoral acts, I got pretty far afield from my initial assertion that Marlowe is moral. He may sometimes be forced to do questionable things in his quest to do the moral thing, but that is always his motive, his higher calling, if you will. As a matter of fact, I can't think of anyone in hardboiled fiction that I would place above Marlowe in terms of morality.

I also appreciated the way you broke it all down, especially the two-fold effect. I'm curious, though (seriously, not a crap remark), would the same reasoning make Mike Hammer moral? (Except, maybe, in his sexual practices -- even though the women are always more than willing, at least in I the Jury he was cheating on his fiancee -- can't believe anyone doesn't already know the following, but SPOILER -- even if she did turn out to be the murderer OVER.) Clearly Hammer's intent is moral, but what about his taking on the role of judge, jury and executioner for himself?


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