Miami Blues Character Analysis

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In the novel, Miami Blues, Charles Willeford highlights Susan’s role in relationships to demonstrate the changing perceptions of her and the necessity to judge her purely based on one’s personal ideology. Willeford seems to be deliberately obscuring the strength of Susan’s character using the way she is introduced as a prostitute, her relationships with Junior and her brother, and her ultimate desertion of Junior. In this paper, I will argue that the ways in which Willeford presents Susan are purposefully inconsistent in order to stress the power of perception and opinion in regard to how one might weigh her influence as a major character and as a woman. This discussion will illustrate the value Willeford places on personal ideology in assessing…show more content…
Junior prepares to fulfill his plan of robbing a coin dealer. He needs Susan to drive the get-away vehicle and even as she is frightened and nervous about what he is going to do, her ignorant disposition leads her to follow his commands. Before Junior goes into the coin dealer’s shop he mentions how he killed her brother at the airport, to threaten her if she does not do exactly what he says. In a decisive act, Susan abandons him at the scene, takes all of his hidden money and her belongings, and leaves him. This prompt action is so efficiently executed that it is impossible that it is not premeditated. As Junior’s life ends and Susan makes a wonderful escape, it becomes clear that Susan is more capable than Junior originally anticipated. He describes her defiance as “understandable, but unexpected” (p.…show more content…
I only pin it as inconclusive based on the ideological nature that Willeford derives her character from. Susan is dynamic; Willeford presents her in this way to combat the predictability that follows any character that is easily categorized. She may not be easily pinned as a strong character considering her unwillingness to stand up to Junior or her job as a prostitute, but she is able to act as an uncategorizable figure that has faced gender oppression and numerous challenges. All in all, I think Willeford uses Susan as a tribute to the idea that there are different, sometimes less conspicuous, ways to be strong, but the assessment of strength is still based on one’s personal perception and
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