The War of the Tug

The War of the Tug

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo appears to be the usual detective novel with several characters working towards the ultimate goal of justice, but is revealed to truly be a power struggle between the main characters for some other unrelated purpose. With the Vanger Corporation under control of a secretly evil man, a magazine under fire due to a journalist’s mistake, and a young delinquent hacker, there are plenty of opportunities to take charge and get something out of such a baffling situation, however, each character at some point becomes an obstacle to success.

For Martin Vanger, the new CEO of Vanger Corporations, power is not only key but a sick addiction (dun, dun, dunnn). Behind the scenes, Martin has followed in his father’s footsteps, kidnapping, raping, and murdering unsuspecting victims all while attempting to form the company in his vision as well as Blomkvist’s magazine, Millenium. With Mikael’s business connection with the Vanger Corp., Martin sees an opportunity to use this leverage to his advantage. As Mikael makes further progress into the case, Martin has no choice but to dissuade him to continue his search for the truth through the magazine and its need for Mikael.

Mikael Blomkvist had no desire to take Henrik Vanger’s offer of the Harriet case, all until proof of Wennerstrom’s corruption was on the table. As a guilty journalist of libel, Mikael had no choice but to hide, however he takes the initiative to gain information that could clear his name along with obtaining a nice chunk of change. During his investigation, Mikael is approached time after time from fellow employees and personal friends about dropping such a ridiculous job. Yet, Mikael persist and takes control of his own fate, which in turn could save his magazine.

As a young woman, deemed mentally unstable by the government, Lisbeth Salander relies on no one to get what she wants. After being hired by the unexpected Mikael Blomkvist, she embarks on a personal mission of curiosity and information. After being told that her original assignment was complete, Lisbeth was overwhelmed with the urge to continue the job, so much so that she would accept no pay. Along with this, she is able to stroll into Blomkvist’s room and casually inform him of the desire for sex. Using her skill and sexuality, Salander stays on the job on her own accord.

From different perspectives, comes different goals, but all come from the desire to control their own lives or others. On a small secluded island, there is more than enough personal interest to go around.

Mars is Alone in the Universe

Being an outsider within Neptune High’s social hierarchy gives Veronica Mars a perspective that enables her to be a good detective. Because of her unsolved rape case Veronica Mars has severed her emotional and social ties to the outside world, enabling her to see situations with an objective lens. This keeps her detective intuitions clear and precise at the expense of her views of everyone around her.

When Veronica awakes alone and confused in bed after the party, she is greeted with the horrifying truth that she has likely been taken advantage of, her underwear carelessly thrown on the floor. This leads her to the realization that she is abandoned by the peers around her, leaving her to face reality in solidarity. With such a brutal betrayal, Veronica now takes on the world in a lone wolf fashion completely un-aided by those she once called friends by re-imagining her physical and emotional appearance. Donning a choppy haircut, shorter and more ragged than her previous well kept style and rebellious attitude unlike the feminine light hearted girl before, Veronica now faces her challenges on her own with a much larger grain of salt.

The change in her external conduct is not only attributed to her peers abandonment, but also that of established authority. When contacting the town sheriff, she is immediately dismissed due to a “lack of evidence” ruining any chance of her unknown perpetrator being held responsible. Veronica is now completely abandoned with no hope of support from either side of society. Further diminishing her level of trust even with those who are regarded as being trustworthy.

Ms. Mars’ inability to trust, due to her desertion regarding her unsolved rape has pushed her away from a normal lifestyle. This new abnormal way of life, that of sociopathic and blunt encounters, has lead to her discovering her true potential as a detective unbound by petty emotions and thoughts. Despite the blurred line between justice and vengeance, Veronica captures the essential traits of a modern “hardboiled” detective.


Past sticks and stones make Bricks

The original claim I’m revising is example E:

“In the TV series Veronica Mars, Veronica has a series of flashbacks suggesting that she lives too much in the past. (A Generalization)




With Veronica Mars’ flashbacks, the viewer is able to see a troubled past through the lens of a young woman who has used such events to build herself up into a confident and straightforward detective, not burdened with such thoughts but rather embracing them to make her a stronger person within a dangerous world.

Srsly Sherlocked ;)


The tales of Sherlock Holmes are captured within the past, the shining age of detectives in silly hats. However, the television show Sherlock follows that trend by no means and gives the timeless detective a cellphone and a computer, thrusting him into the modern age. With such a challenge as adapting the old to the new, Doyle’s stories not only get a new coat of paint, but also another layer of story.

First off, translating a story from the 30’s and placing it in the 21st century is an impressive feat. The producer’s of the show must be well versed in the original tales and then be able to have it make sense within it’s new world. Simply having the text applied to modern day would be plain and boring, so the next great step is to twist it into a thrilling modern mystery.

Technology, technology is key within the new Sherlock which gives the show that new spin to make things fresh. More so, it allows for the story to be enriched with information not clearly seen in the original novel. It could be as simple as the addition of a modern fire alarm to reveal Irene Adler’s photos rather than the traditional exclamation of “Fire!”. More importantly the introduction of the cellphone (the device Ms. Adler’s stores her photos and other information), with Sherlock’s cellphone, he and Ms. Adler communicate throughout the episode showing that deeper relation of the two that is known yet not explicitly obvious. It is a great addition that makes things interesting yet true to the classic lore.

From phones to cars and smoke to fire alarms, the modernization of Sherlock’s cases is an enjoyable re-imagining of the beloved mysteries. Staying true to its roots, but making it different in a very fascinating and fun way is an accomplishment any producer should be proud of.


3rd Analysis: Digging Deeper

Tried to delve deeper into the overall meaning of the ego within noir or The Maltese Falcon, enjoy!


3rd Analysis: Digging Deeper

“Spade’s face became pale and hard. He spoke rapidly in a low furious voice: ‘Think again and think fast. I told that punk of yours that you’d have to talk to me before you got through. I’ll tell you now that you’ll do your talking today or you are through. What are you wasting my time for? You and your lousy secret! Christ! I know exactly what that stuff is that they keep in the subtreasury vaults, but what good does that do me? I can get along without you. God damn you!” (Page 109, last paragraph)


This is it. This is the boiling point for Sam Spade, the hardboiled detective, that truly reveals what he’s capable of. Through the entirety of The Maltese Falcon, Spade has remained cool headed, under control, and able to contain his ego. Yet, with the fat man or “G”, Sam fully embodies his masculinity and demands control over the only character who could likely have him killed at the flick of a wrist. His ego has taken over and pushed him to his maximum, what does this mean for the other characters or the story?

The Maltese Falcon and the noir genre has revealed its base being built upon sexuality, masculinity, and gender, but the thing that can effect how any given character will work with these traits is their ego. Spades ego, now revealed to be bolstered and solid, is his support and his success. It is how he pushes himself to be better and stronger…and on several occasions to get what he wants (which is in reality just about everything he does).

However, how could the detective be a perfect character? A strong man with an ego to back everything up, but an ego that could be his downfall or even a denial of weakness. Spade knows this “G” is strong, even with annoying henchmen, and could potentially ruin him. So he must push back hard…but what of his other situations? His ego is a cover for what truly is a man that can’t be an honest boyfriend or someone full of greed.

This applies for all the other characters as well! Their own ego or stature is only what they tell themselves. Brigid and her timid or even violent outburst, Cairo’s bashful yet persistent pleas for information, the Police’s belief in their own cause, and once again Sam’s twisted thought of what is right through his own means.

The characters of Noir are only as good as their ego allows them to be, that built up with the mentioned trio of traits is what truly makes the character. The sickening part of Noir’s or atleast The Maltese Falcon’s main detective’s ego is that it isn’t just a factor into the characters confidence,  but also what reinforces his pride and self centered decisions.


FYS Further Investigations

Hey everyone, thought I would throw my Analysis in here today (I left it unedited to show how my original thought process went). Hope to see everyone else’s soon! Enjoy 🙂




Second Analysis: Further Investigations


“Cairo coughed a little apologetic cough and smiled nervously with lips that had lost some of their redness. His dark eyes were humid and bashful and very earnest. “I intend to search your offices. Mr. Spade. I warn you that if you attempt to prevent me I shall certainly shoot you.”


–Mr. Cairo, Pg. 45 2nd Paragraph


Within the noir genre, and more specifically The Maltese Falcon, there are heavy hints at what society (at the time) thinks of gender, sexuality, and masculinity. This passage is able to get the point across that the new character, Joel Cairo, is mainly feminine and fragile. Characteristics that represent a character as a man or a women are suddenly blurred together in a way that makes it hard to tell if Mr. Cairo were a man or women if the terms “his” or “him” were omitted entirely.


His persona is distinctly less firm or even confident when it comes to every action as compared to Mr. Spade. As a “man” that is holding another person at gunpoint he coughs apologetically and even smiles in an unsure manner. A man can’t be unsure in a time of pressure or potential combat or reveal some form of weakness like a smile. What kind of tough guy (more like punk) is this? Clearly Hammet doesn’t think he is at all, adding to it that he has bashful and earnest eyes that just bash their eyelashes at the detective. Whereas Spade’s yellow and firm gaze would likely punch the guy out cold then come up with a snarky remark about how he wants to blow the man’s brains out.


The underlying message behind these distinctions within this character is that (at the time) being homosexual, or potentially homosexual, was the exact opposite of being a man and possibly even worse than a women. Someone who doesn’t belong and is a disgrace to what they are trying to do in life, or in this case threaten a man at gunpoint (using a gun he likely hasn’t the foggiest how to use) and get what he wants. The entirety of the situation both in and out of the passage comes and hits Cairo harder than he can possibly comprehend, both physically and mentally, due to his frail and feminine demeanor.


What does this mean for the story overall? Well, if Spade wishes to succeed he must be a strong and confident man (which he more or less already is). This pattern of masculinity plays alongside the gender divide, now placing the separation of characters in a three way split, revealing that this story and other Noir stories like it rely on a man, a “real” man, a character that has to face attacks and deal with the obstacles of silly women and pathetic men.