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Crime Fiction Essay

821 words - 4 pages

Creative works are organised into a specific genre. Genre can be concisely defined as a set of conventions and expectations which audiences will grow accustomed to over time. Conventions within a genre will limit and shape the meaning perceived by audiences. Through time, as contexts alter, so do values; though conventions remain the same. Some composers make their texts more appealing once they challenge the original conventions of a genre and thus attract a wider audience. By doing this, composers are able to present their audiences with new themes and values relative to their social contexts. Crime fiction has often adapted these processes and has become a genre of its own with intriguing ...view middle of the document...

Social commentary made by Hitchcock demonstrates that marriage isn’t as good as it seems through Lars Thorwald’s treatment of his troublesome wife. Audiences are shocked to see Jeff accusing Thorwald of the murder of his wife, as a man killing his wife was typically unheard of. Lisa (Jeff’s partner) justifies her views by saying, “Lots of wives nag and men hate them, and trouble starts – but very, very, very few of them end up in murder –” to which Jeff replies, “It’s pretty hard to stay away from the word (murder) isn’t it?” reflecting what the audience of their context might have been thinking. Family values are embedded into the minds of people of that context as Stella (nurse) holds a belief that; “A man is always ready for marriage – with the right girl.” Marriage and its importance in society is a pinnacle concept as all subplots seen in the windows Jeff looks through, concerns relationships and/or marriage. Hitchcock has achieved his purpose of challenging the conventions and scrutinising values through his specialty genre.
Another sub-genre of The Golden Age was the Realists, which is the main portrayal of unlikely ‘detective’ Jeff in the film ‘Rear Window’. Realist texts often revealed much about society at the time. This sub-genre eventually led into ‘Hard-Boiled’ crime fiction that became prominent in American crime writing. Hard-Boiled detectives were generally streetwise detectives who were tough talkers and cynical thinkers. Jeff is conveyed as an...

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