Free Essay About Detective Fiction Essay
A detective fiction is a literary genre in form of a short story or novel that deals with crimes, usually murder and detectives are involved to seek justice for the victims. The detectives involved in detective fictions can either be private, amateur, or police detectives. There are also other characters like the suspects and the side kicks. An amateur detective is a detective who has no license to operate as a private investigator neither is he/she a member of the police force. These detectives have a different profession, but are not trained in criminal investigation. They have a passion in crime and delivering justice to the society. On the other hand, a private detective also known as hard boiled is a male or female detective trained in criminal investigation. Dealing with crime is his/her profession, therefore, has good physical attributes and uses the gun efficiently. The two detectives differ in two ways; first, they differ in financial status, secondly they differ on how they use violence in their investigations.
The first difference between an amateur detective and a private detective is their financial statuses. An amateur detective is an individual who has another job or rather a different means of income, and he is only involved in investigations to bring justice to the society. Most of them stumble on cases by accident, and out of curiosity, a personal involvement, belief in justice, and a concern for the society, they take on the case. Comparably, hard boiled or private detectives are trained to be detectives and therefore, they make a living out of crime investigation and solving crimes. Therefore, it is evident that, amateur detectives are financially stable compared to private detectives, since they have other jobs and consequently they do not make a living out of a criminal investigation. An example of a short story with amateur detectives is Silver Blaze, one of Sherlock Holmes short stories written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In this short story, it is clear that Sherlock Holmes and Watson his sidekick show off their financial stability. Holmes while talking to Mrs. Straker says, “Surely I met you in Plymouth, at a garden party, some little time ago, Mrs. Straker” (Doyle 91). He is demonstrating his financial steadiness when he points out that he was present in a prominent people gathering in the society. Most amateur detectives do not get financial payment, they are only satisfied with the recognition they get from the society and the people they have helped.
Comparably, the hard boiled detectives are detectives by profession and they earn a living from their job. In addition, most of them are always poor. An illustration is in the The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler. Raymond writes that, detective Marlowe was a relatively poor man but he had to do his job as a detective (219). Detective Marlowe was a hard boiled detective who only worked for 25 dollars a day. This is an example of a hard boiled detective and how they struggle to make a living. Detective Marlowe lives poorly, as he is only paid only twenty-five dollars a day and yet amateur detectives have salaries from their other profession.
Another noticeable difference between a private and amateur detective is their use of violence. In most amateur sleuth genres, there is always violence at the scene and any violence during confrontations is always mild. The work of the amateur detective is to find the perpetrators of the crime and bring justice to the victims; therefore, he/she does not use violence, thus no guns and other weapons. A good example is in Silver Blaze where the detective says “I’ll show you how we serve them in King’s Pyland. He sprang up and rushed across the stable to unloose the dog” (Doyle 86). This is on a lighter note with no violence unlike in hard boiled fiction whereby the detective will use any weapon against the suspects in order to find information. Another example is when Holmes confronts Silas Brown, at the stables, Brown did not use any violence against him, and rather he only threatened to unleash a dog against him.
Comparably, for a private detective, he/she has to use some form of violence and in most hard boiled fictions, violence is throughout the stories. The private detective is always ready since he could become a victim of being shot or killed by the suspects because there is always danger lurking on all sides. This is evident in The Big Sleep whereby detective Marlowe witnesses murder and death everyday but he as to work as a detective because that is his profession (Chandler 265). This is when the detective explains how he had to defend himself after violence evolved in an investigation. Another example is when he writes “I brought the Luger up and started to squeeze the trigger, but a shot crashed beside me” (Chandler 270). Chandler writes how violence is present and dangerous for private investigators compared to amateur detectives.
In conclusion, amateur and private detectives differ in financial statues and the use of violence while doing their jobs. Private detectives deal with a lot of violence in their line of duty; in fact they even risk losing their lives while trailing the suspects. Comparably, amateur detectives avoid violence at all costs because they are not trained as investigators and can risk losing their lives if they try violence. In addition, the two detectives differ in their financial statuses. Amateur detectives are financially stable because they have an income from their main profession. Comparably, most private detectives are financially unstable because, they depend on crime investigation for their living because that is what they are trained to do and it is their profession. Nonetheless, they all have a motive of solving crimes and bringing justice to the victims.
Chandler, Raymond. "The Big Sleep. Mansfield-Kelley 254-294.
Doyle, Arthur Conan. "Silver Blaze." Mansfield-Kelley 83-101.
Mansfield-Kelley, Deane. The Longman Anthology of Detective Fiction. New York: Pearson Education Inc., 2005. Print.