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Unformatted text preview: German 2501-Fall 2007 Term Paper #1 The Debunking of the Detective Story The modernist movement caused an abrupt change in how art was viewed. It began during the 20 th century. The modernist movement affected many forms of Western culture, especially in the areas of art and literature. Friedrich Drrenmatt was a Swiss author who wrote The Pledge in 1958. He wrote it in attempts of debunking the common detective story, in which the detective solves the crime in a perfect way and everything ends up ideally. At the beginning of the novel, Dr. H, the police chief says, these mystery stories perpetrate a whole different sort of deception. I dont mean the fact that your criminals are always brought to justice Its one of those lies that preserve the state. (Drrenmatt 8) The story is a tale unlike the majority of detective stories; the hero is nothing like a hero, several of the detectives character traits that are a necessity in normal detective novels turn out to be major flaws, and the plot doesnt end happily. Matthi starts the story as a pusillanimous detective whose main concerns in life are his work and personal affairs. When Frau Moser first learns of her daughters death, she makes Matthi promise on his eternal salvation that he will find her daughter Gritlis murderer. He makes this pledge only because he is uncomfortable in the situation and wants to leave the home of the Mosers as quickly as possible. In fact, he already knew at that point that he was going to leave the country and take a position in which he would have no say in how the killing was solved. Instead of following the normal Jungian archetype of a hero, Matthi resemblesa coward. By making a hollow promise to a desperate mother he loses the respect that the reader generally develops for the protagonist of the story. Drrenmatt takes an approach to set up his characters in a completely opposite way than most stories. characters in a completely opposite way than most stories....
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This note was uploaded on 02/27/2008 for the course GRMN 2501 taught by Professor Edmaier during the Fall '07 term at Colorado.
- Fall '07