Devil in a Blue Dress Rhetorical Analysis Novel vs. Film

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Devil in a Blue Dress: Novel vs. Film The hardboiled mystery novel, Devil in a Blue Dress, by Walter Mosley was first published in 1990 and was acknowledged by former U.S. President, Bill Clinton, as one of his many favorite novelists (Easy Writer). Taking place in post-war Los Angeles, the story is narrated by an African American laborer, Easy Rawlins, who is transformed into an L.A. detective after being pulled in to the affairs of local townspeople. The successful novel continued onto screen adaptation in 1995 and was directed by Carl Franklin and starred Denzel Washington, who also financed and produced the film (Easy Writer). From a well-liked hardboiled detective novel to a contemporary film, viewers and readers are restricted from …show more content…

Most of the dialogue contains slang words and short forceful sentences that make the characters intimidating. When Easy refuses Mouse’s offer he responds, “Nigger cain't pull his way out the swamp wit'out no help…You wanna hole on t'this house and git some money and have you some white girls callin' on the phone” (Devil in a Blue Dress page 73). Mouse’s response is daring and bold when he gives Easy these alternatives to live a leisure life. Mosley’s word choices in the dialogue and Easy’s narration causes a dark tone that allows readers to grasp the mystery and danger being incorporated in the investigation. Most of Easy’s narration is straightforward because he gets straight to the point. For example, after visiting the bar he states, “I never got bored or frustrated. I wasn't even afraid of DeWitt Albright during those days. I felt, foolishly, safe from even his crazy violence” (Devil in a Blue Dress page 61). Easy gets straight to the point and does not beat around the bush when it comes to admitting any information or thoughts. This allows the book to be dense in information and causes a fast pace suspenseful experience. Imagery is also utilized differently in both mediums since the film takes advantage of visuals through acting and scene production while the book takes advantage of description through texts. While sitting in Joppy’s bar, Easy thinks to