The Continental Op By Hammet Dashiell: An Analysis

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In The Continental Op, by Hammet Dashiell features the main character to be a hard-boiled detective. This hard-boiled male character was represented as a distinct new idea of American masculinity in the 1920s. This genre was formed through the modernization and fusion of two earlier masculine icons- the gentlemen detective and frontier hero (Breu). In Christopher Breu’s Men and Masculinities, he believed that the problem with the “Red Harvest” was that the Continental detective’s masculinity was too dependent on instrumental rationality and devoid of all affect. Therefore, it was unable to represent the cultural fantasies within that era. The term instrumental rationality means that a person would use violence and be straightforward in order to achieve one’s goal. The character often lacked gender difference, sexuality, race, and nation. On the other hand, the term affect was used to describe a person who would use other people’s weaknesses and emotions to achieve one’s goal. This often leads to blackmail and being manipulative. In this case “The Girl with the Sliver Eyes,” another story featured in The Continental Op goes along with Christopher Breu’s argument.…show more content…
The Continental detective was shown to be violent and used bold statement without cautioning the other person’s well-being. This allowed him to assert his dominance over people like Porky and Bruke (Dashiell). The term blood-simple can be used to describe the detective’s behavior in this story, where the Continental detective enjoys the pain that he inflict on others and will use violence to sort things out. In this case his masculinity depends on the term instrumental

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