Devil in Blue Dress (Novel)
Devil in a Blue Dress
The novel Devil in a Blue Dress by Walter Mosley is an important contribution that addresses physical violence, War, sexual perversity, animal symbolism, racial prejudice, money, and survival strategies. Mosley’s first chapters address the Second World War and are set in Los Angeles. By including Easy’s experiences with white men, Mosley’s work interestingly explores the implications of segregation and racial discrimination in the legally separated black and white communities. In his work, Mosley shatters the notion that racism is easily understandable. “Daphne has a predilection for the company of Negroes. She likes jazz and pig’s feet and dark meat” Mosley (45). Besides, through Easy and Benny’s relationship, the novel reveals that racism complex measure of identity and more than skin color.
Mosley reveals that money is the major source of power and conflict in his work. Every character’s behavior in the novel is fuelled by the desire for more money. Monet commands respect and attention through her stolen money. Easy, on the other hand, acknowledges that he needs money and property of his own. “I drove back to my house thinking about money and how much I needed to have some” (Mosley, 23). Money is seen as the root cause of physical violence and murders in the novel. The Devil in a Blue Dress describes the experiences and events of the Second World War. Through vivid imageries, Mosley exposes the cruelty of violence and symbolic murders.
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In the last chapters, Mosley (79) uses animal symbolism and minor characters to illustrate survival strategies and dangerous realities. Mouse is animalistic, “He sees Mouse draw his gun, his eyes trained on Miller’s back.” The Devil in a Blue Dress uses a fictional detective Easy Rawlings to decipher Daphne Monet’s activities and her whereabouts. The setting is in Los Angeles after the War and many misconceptions are still held. Mosley provides a social intrigue about race in the post-war era. Through the novel, readers get a unique African-American perspective of issues affecting society.
Mosley, Walter. Devil in a Blue Dress. Easy Rawlins Mystery. Washington Square Press, Washington, 2010, pp. 14-215.
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