Raymond Chandler

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How does Raymond Chandler depict gender relations in Red Wind?

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As befits the conventions of the hard-boiled detective fiction of mid-20th century America, which were largely invented by Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, both the men and women of "Red Wind" are depicted as tough, mercenary, wisecracking characters doing what's necessary to survive in a pitiless and often mystifyingly complex world.

The relationship of the central characters, private detective John Dalmas and dangerously entangled beauty Lola Barsaly, is saturated in mistrust and scepticism from the outset, with each believing the other to be bent on exploiting them. But as she displays courage and resourcefulness, while the detective explores violent and ugly byways in unravelling the complications of her dilemma, a tenuous understanding develops between them. But here, as in much of Chandler's work, the beneficiary of his protagonist's thinly veiled acts of knight-errantry can never fully appreciate them. The romanticism implicit in the ineluctable distance this creates between his men and women is the most salient aspect of those relationships.

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