The Watts Lions In The Noir Analysis

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In the noir genre convention, the classic antihero is the person who gets stuck in a precarious situation which he is unrelated to, and relentlessly tries to solve the crime for his personal satisfaction no matter the consequences. The noir genre convention presents the reader with a world filled with mystery and darkness. In a time when America was just a bleak, void due to the Great Depression, the noir genre delivers a character in the anti-hero who is relatable enough too many struggling Americans. The antihero is usually swayed into this situation in order to protect the damsel in distress. The description of the anti-hero is “they live on the outskirts of normalcy, surviving as best as they can in a chaotic world both inner and outer”…show more content…
Mosely does this by being extremely descriptive with the surroundings around the anti-hero. In doing so, the male reader is able to relate most with the anti-hero because it is the he who faces and overcomes depraved world around him. In the opening scene of “The Watts Lions” the protagonist Mr. Rawlins is approached by a group of black males who are looking for protection from a blood thirsty man named Rayjohn as he looking for vengeance against them. The reason the group of men were so fearful for their lives was because of the death report they found. It read, “Ornin Levesque was found tied up, naked and spread-eagled, on his own bed. His mouth was stuffed full with cotton balls and taped shut. The flesh from his belly had been stripped off while he was still alive and plastered to the wall over his head” (Mosley 3). The description of the murder scene perfectly captures the noir genre convention. The author is able to use strong imagery of the "flesh from his belly" and "spread eagle” in order to show the reader the hopeless world that his characters live in. This imagery appropriately creates an obstacle for the anti-hero to overcome in accordance to his surroundings. By doing this, the male reader is more interested in what is going to happen to the anti-hero because he seems to be the only morally sane person. The reader is…show more content…
After witnessing a murder at a bar, the protagonist, narrator, and most importantly; antihero Marlowe finds himself involved in a crime that he is unrelated with. Marlowe, being the gentleman that he is, tries to keep a woman in the story, Lola, safe no matter the consequences. Lola is described as the damsel in distress that many noir genre convention stories have in order to depict the antihero. Marlowe, responding to Lola says, “Lady, all you did was save my life. What else do you want done? I'm ready, willing, and I'll try to be able…She didn't say anything, or move” (Chandler 18). Quite smooth with his words, Marlowe shows the reader how to finesse the woman he is trying to get without being so explicit. Lola being depicted as the damsel in distress is immobilized by Marlowe’s words. This is because in a world filled with dirty, conniving, and menacing men, Marlowe stands out above the rest as being noble and valiant. It isn’t so much that Marlowe is just trying to make this woman fall for him, but rather the fact that he is able to find romance in the evil and bleak world of noir. However, having knowledge that Lola is married, Marlowe still tries to do the right thing no matter his methods in order to solve the crime that Lola is involved in. It is these specific qualities of being smooth, cool, and smart that make Marlowe such a man that other
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