Isolated Teen or Idiosyncratic Detective?

Throughout the pilot episode of the Veronica Mars series, Veronica is portrayed as an extremely unique and strong person. Despite all of her obstacles and what she has over come, her major talent, and passion, is detective work. Due to her love for detective work, the ability to see new and interesting actions is vital. Veronica Mars’ isolation amongst her peers forces her to have a third-party view, much like the viewer, on the formulaic system of the social ranking within her school. This isolated perspective sheds light on the subtle details regarding the importance of socio-economic standings and race.
This idea of the third party perspective connects Veronica’s isolated perspective, her previous perspective and the viewer’s position. Since the segment is shown from Veronica’s viewpoint, the observer is expected to make similar inferences and try and see things as she sees them.
Veronica’s first and second perspective on her high school’s system is very interesting due to the fact that she herself was once a part of the system. Her father’s high position in the police station gave her that “in” with the popular crowd allowing her to have the privilege to breeze by socially in high school. Once her father was stripped of his position, she lost her socio-economic status and lost her privilege to be a part of the “in-group.” This loss of social respect forces Veronica to acquire a new outlook on her school. She begins to see how divided, exclusive, and tormenting her classmates truly were. Veronica describes her peer as a “jackass” despite the fact that they used to be friends. She sees the amount of corruptions that occurs when a new student comes to school or when a group doesn’t live up to their social or economic standings.
The third section of the third party view comes into play when discussing the racial tension within the Veronica Mars series. There are distinct differences between the acceptance of social groups: the popular students, the tough students, and the outlier. The popular students are all Caucasian and extremely wealthy, whereas the tough students and the outlier are of minority ethnicities. Veronica Mars is the only Caucasian who comes from a socially acceptable family, that we see, who is an outlier.
Mars’ different interpretations of the social standings within her school allows for a larger outlook on the amount of corruption and significance placed on status. These three separate perspectives allow for the viewer to not only see what is shown on the screen, but what Veronica would be thinking about while making her deductions. It allows for us to tap into Veronica’s emotional actions along with her professional actions.







Human or Infallible? Does Sherlock Really Hold the Power?

Within the Sherlock Holmes short story “A Scandal in Belgravia” we have seen two different interpretations: the BBC series edition and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Although these two interpretations are derived from the same story, the way they depict the relationship between Irene Adler and Sherlock Holmes is extremely different.

Throughout the Sherlock Holmes book we see Holmes making deductions, carrying out his plans, and everything going in his favor. We, as readers, believe Sherlock is in control throughout the entire story. Despite this preconceived notion of who holds the power, we realized that Ms. Irene Adler has outsmarted Sherlock. This shift in power is not yet known until the closing of the story when Sherlock receives a letter clearly stating Irene’s deductions and reasoning’s.

Contrary to the book Irene Adler, in the BBC series, is in control for most of the story. She figured out Sherlock’s case before he was able to which, proved her dominance over him. She later tricked him into giving away the information about a government plan regarding a terrorist bomb on a British airplane. These situations allow the audience to see, and think, that Adler has bested Sherlock, similarly to in the written interpretation. Despite these situations regarding Irene’s control, Holmes does ultimately outsmart her. He steals her cell phone and figures out her pass code by reading her pulse. When he notices her heart rate increase when they are in close contact, he gained the evidence that she has feelings for him and figures out her password is “SHER”. This strand of events plays into the Sherlock stereotype of him being an infallible genius.

The BBC edition holds more firmly to the ‘typical’ Sherlock Holmes stereotype. Despite being bested in a situation or two, he will always come out the smartest, the winner. The written story gives Holmes more human characteristics; we see that he is capable of failure. By letting Irene Adler be the smarter of the two in the book, shows that Homes is human. He becomes more relatable when he does not always win or come out on top. The BBC edition plays on the stereotype of always being correct which feeds into the perception of Holmes being incredibly reliable. The idea of Holmes having human attributes is only touched on in the BBC edition of Sherlock. These different portrayals further the debate of Sherlock Holmes as a human or infallible character.  Unknownfile://localhost/Users/sarahsackman/Desktop/images-1.jpegfile://localhost/Users/sarahsackman/Desktop/images-3.jpeg

Reaction Paper 2

“’I won’t be able to wear an evening gown for two weeks, you brute.’ He grinned humbly, said, ‘I’m no damned good, darling,’ made an exaggerated bow, and went out again.” page 117

Throughout the course of the novel, The Maltese Falcon, there has been a wide array of action, drama and literary significance. One of the more interesting aspects of the novel is that the relationships within the story set a foundation for many other literary works, motion pictures and way of thinking. Noting the interactions between the strong detective, Sam Spade, and his various mistresses sets a foundation of the stereotype stating that men are men and cannot control their temper.

When Spade speaks with Effie Perine, his secretary and mistress, she tells him that Brigid O’Shaughnessy, another mistress, has gone missing. This unleashes Spade’s barbaric temper, which results in him clenching Effie’s arms with such force that it leaves a mark. When Spade finally returns to a calm and collected state, he has no shame in admitting: “I’m no damned good” (117). Despite the fact that what he is saying is true, he does not mean what he says. As he spoke the words, his actions did not match the severity of the situation. The moment he “grinned humbly” (117), the magnitude of the brutality completely diminished. His “exaggerated bow” (117) is rather comical after his smirk shortly preceding this action. The description placed on Sam Spade’s reaction parallels that of many men during this time and throughout more recent times. There is not a large concern for the woman involved; there is simply a statement of having “a most violent temper”(110) and being nothing more then a “brute” (117). A sarcastic statement followed by a comical gesture undermines the negativity in her speech. She is not taken seriously, her physical along with mental well being are not the priority, and instead, she is made to be over dramatic.

This idea of men not taking responsibility for their “violent temper” (110) lays a foundation for the way many people view men. In Tennessee William’s A Streetcar Named Desire, Stanley Kowalski plays a much harsher Sam Spade in regards to relationships. These portrayals of women being subjected to abuse date back nearly twenty years earlier to the time of The Maltese Falcon. Many women today still believe in this stereotype that men cannot control their inner “brute” (117).  This novel has the beginning of the incorporation of mental and physical abuse in a relatively modern day society.

Reaction Paper 1

“I think I’d rather die than that, Mr. Spade. I can’t explain now, but can’t you somehow manage so that you can shield me from them, so I won’t have to answer their questions? I don’t think I could stand being questioned now. I think I would rather die. Can’t you, Mr. Spade?” (Maltese Falcon 35)

This excerpt from Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon exemplifies Ms. Brigid O’Shaughnessy’s personality traits when she is suddenly immersed in the chaos of the detective lifestyle. Brigid’s excessive repetition of “you” and “Mr. Spade” shows her dependency on her detective, Sam Spade, and his ability to help her situation. Along with her repetition, the strands of words also express her need for Spade to “shield” (35) her from the interrogations she would have to face otherwise. The doubling of the words, “think” (35) and “question(s)” (35), add to her desperation while also calling into question her ability to think a situation through for herself.

These undermining portrayals of Brigid are further explained by her interactions with Sam Spade as the novel progresses. Her conversation with Spade about Thursby’s murder epitomizes her helplessness in the situation. Brigid’s use of “I don’t know” (38-39) correlates to her trouble expressing her problems while also relating back to her dependency on Spade’s assistance. In addition, when Spade explains: “this is hopeless […] I don’t even know if you know what you want”(39), he communicates the magnitude of the problem caused by her building dependency. Spade’s reaction is one that has escalated from foundations set from O’Shaughnessy’s previous aliases to her complete “[hopelessness]”(39) in asking for “[him] to somehow manage so that he can shield [her] from [the police]” (35). Brigid’s indecisiveness leads us to see just how desperate she is for Spade’s help. Her lack of knowledge on the situation shows how helpless she is without the direction that she is seeking from Spade.

Brigid clearly explains how she would do anything to stay away from the police by saying, “I would rather die than that” (35). Although, one binary is that Brigid goes to the extreme of dying while asking for help to avoid confrontation. She goes on to beg Spade to “shield [her] from [the police]” (35) when the typical thief would give in to death before asking for help. This aids to the opposite, within the passage, O’Shaughnessy asks Spade to “manage” (35) it so she will not have to speak with the police. Interestingly enough, although the word “manage” is used in this passage, nothing within the quote relates, or even hints, to being regulated by either person involved. Brigid’s use of the word “manage” (35) is connected to her desire for her situation to be handled by Spade.

Be that as it may, although Brigid’s attitude along with personality seems to be compromising, her actions may foreshadow events to come, not only regarding her future but the future of the Maltese Falcon as well. Since she is the only person who is in control of collecting the falcon, Brigid O’Shaughnessy could be a symbol for the Maltese Falcon. Her mysterious and confusing personality parallels that of the falcon. The fact that there is no straight answer in the midst of a web of lies connects Brigid and the Falcon symbolically.  The fact that Brigid is so stationary in her actions are similar to the Falcon in that they are both in a compromising position that neither of them wants to be involved in. Both Brigid and the Falcon are pawns in this detective game. Brigid was an accomplice to Floyd Thursby’s bird-napping, she was not the thief, she was terrified for her life, forcing her to go along with him. Much like Brigid, the falcon did not want to go away with Thursby, it was scared for its life, therefore had no option. The parallels between Brigid and the falcon, I would say, go deep enough to say they are connected on some level. Whether it be with the situation or personally, I believe there is a connection.