Comparative Essay Sample: Analysis of Red Harvest and The Iliad
According to the Red Harvest novel by Dashiell Hammett, a continental operative takes the role of the main character. In this case, the author tries to create a personal investigator who is much aware of the current political and social status in the town. As a result, the author ends up hiring Poisonville for the position of a detective. According to the novel, continental operative uses ruthless and cunning ways in order to achieve his desired goals of combating corruption and crime in the town. Additionally, the continental operative employs similar tactics and strategies used by the corrupt and the criminals. According to the narration, the Op is seen to have no major difference with the evil people within the society. Generally, the Red Harvest novel tries to bring about freeing society from corruption and the evils brought about by corruption. In this perspective, the Op eliminates corruption in the town by becoming corrupt through the entire process (Hammett).
On the other hand, The Iliad is a story of a war between communities as a result of rivalry and quest of power. Generally, the story is narrated during the Trojan war of the Greek army. In this case, the capture of two maidens is witnessed during the war. According to the novel, Chryseis and Briseis are captured during the Trojan War. As a result, Chryseis’s father offers a huge ransom for the return of his daughter. However, Agamemnon refuses the ransom and fails to give Chryseis back to her father. On the other hand, as the story unfolds, Chryseis prays to Apollo who sends plague to the Achaean camp. It is during this time that a lot of the Achaens die from of plague. According to The Iliad, the Trojan breach the war treaty, and Zeus came in support of the Trojan. As a result, the Achaeans suffered a lot from the war due to the fierce attack of the Trojans and Zeus (Homer).
In the Red Harvest, the Op operates very closely with the most crooked individuals within the town. Additionally, the Op cannot be differentiated from the real corrupt individuals and criminals in the society. For instance, the Op is a close friend of Dinah, who takes cash in order to withhold information. Generally, Dinah is a hustler and a known gold-digger who cannot stop at nothing to get money. Additionally, the Op is also a close friend of the Chief of Police, Noonan. Moreover, he is seriously involved in shady deals within the town and has a bad reputation within the society. The Op in Red Harvest can be compared to the Greek goddess of the Iliad novel.
In this perspective, the Op worked in concert with Dinah Brand to extract vital information from Donald Wilson and Max. On the other hand, the Op used the privilege of being a close friend of the chief of police to extract crucial information. He used the information available to him in order to stage strategies of his objectives. The Op is found to be in a tricky position when his friend, Dinah Brand, is found murdered in the same room.
Generally, Op’s involvement with the bad gangs in the town in order to eliminate criminals in the area finds him in a compromising situation. In this case, the Op is found to be the primary suspect in the murder of Dinah Brand. However, he had no involvement with the murder of Dinah Brand. Apparently, the Op creates enmity between the gang and the police force after the murder of Dinah Brand. It is clear that the corrupt police chief and the gang leaders are all dead. As a result, the Op is forced to blackmail Elihu Willsson into calling the governor, who declares a martial war (Hammett).
In The Iliad, the Greek goddess can also be compared to Dinah Brand. In this perspective, the goddess of the Greek people declares plague in the town which leads to death of many citizens. Moreover, the goddess is consulted by the Achaeans people if a disaster occurs in the region. Additionally, the Greek goddess can be used by the people to punish the wrong doers. Therefore, through the goddess, the Achilles could survive the war by either pretending to be the opponents.
On the other hand, the gangsters of Poisonville may be compared to the Greek warriors in The Iliad. In Red Harvest, the author uses the gangsters to enhance the role of criminals in the story. Additionally, the author mentions that the Op befriends the gangsters in order to extract important information which ultimately led him in finding the desired objectives. On the other hand, working as a detective, the Op could mingle freely with the people in the town. In this perspective, the gangsters retaliate as a result of an attack or when they have planned to strike within the town. It is evident from the story that the chief of police and other gangsters had been killed (Hammett).
However, it is clear that the warriors in The Iliad narration play very different roles from those of the gangsters. In this instance, the gangsters in the Red Harvest are known to be using a lot of excessive force and are actively involved in crimes against people in the streets. Accordingly, the gangster group in Red Harvest provides a platform through which the vice of the society are manifested. However, the warriors in The Iliad fight against their enemies as they are given orders to fight back. Nevertheless, there are some similar roles in the play between warriors and the gangsters. In this perspective, the gangsters engage in gunfights with the corrupt police in the town. It is evident that whenever the gangsters strike, there are always a number of people who are killed in the attack (Homer).
In Red Harvest, the author uses a detective in order to combat the crime and corruption in the town. In this perspective, the continental operative is employed to investigate the corrupt leaders and prevent crimes from been committed in the town. According to the author, the Op has full knowledge of the task being endowed to him. Therefore, it is the Op’s responsibility to bring about the perpetrators of corruption and help in combating the crime groups in the town.
Oт the other hand, the Op is no different from the corrupt leaders and the gangsters within the town as he uses the same tactics as they do. Additionally, the Op associates himself with the bad people in the society in order to get vital information. Accordingly, the Op acts like the corrupt leaders and mingles with the bad guys so that he can get their secret rights. However, he faces a lot of challenges during his obligation in fighting the bad guys and eliminating corruption in the city. For instance, his friend, Dinah Brand, is murdered in the same room with the Op. As a result, it brings out the Op as the first suspect in the murder case of Dinah Brand.
On the other hand, gangsters in Red Harvest can be compared and contrasted to the warriors in The Iliad. From this perspective, the gangsters are mostly drug lords and deal with buying and selling of guns. In The Iliad, the warriors are mostly involved in fighting their enemies in war and are always determined to win every battle. The gangsters are involved in gunfights with the police due to the connection of trafficking of illegal drugs. Therefore, both parties are involved in fighting and their success is of crucial importance. In The Iliad, warriors use more power and energy in fighting their enemies as compared to the gangsters. In this case, the gangsters are usually in gun fights rather than the traditional way of warrior fighting. Therefore, the difference between the two parties is brought out through the fighting strategies and objectives of fighting. It is thus evident that the police fight the gangsters in order to restore peace in the town. However, the warriors fight each other in order to gain power and territory among other communities.
In conclusion, it is worth mentioning that the two novels have significant importance in the ancient and the current world. Additionally, there are various themes and motifs brought about by the novels which require to be known by the society in order to prevent corruption and violent acts. Moreover, the two novels have contrasting ideologies which also need to be analyzed and understood. On the other hand, both narrations bring out the aspect of masculinity and glory after war in the current world.