Distinctive Voices

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Distinctive voices are part of our everyday life and can be expressed in many ways. This is not always projected through speech and language. It can be intrinsic and is inherent in any text. This is particularly helps when reviewing The Life and Crimes of Harry Lavender by Marele Day and related film Miss Congeniality directed by Donald Petrie. Both these composers have created a variety of distinctive voices in the texts. The most distinctive voice within the novel the life and crimes of Harry Lavender is that of Claudia Valentine. Claudia’s voice is both unique and original. She is unique and hard-boiled and works as a private detective which is very much a male dominated workforce. She is short and sharp as seen in the quote "no one gets in my room .... let alone my bed" which is expected of a person in this role. Despite this hard outer shell we see her vulnerable side when talking to and thinking about such characters as Steve Angel where she is far more colloquial. Day uses an inner monologue and techniques such as similes to show this. “Eyes like the pools you find beneath waterfalls. It was all I could do to stop myself from taking my clothes off and diving in”. This could be interpreted as her sexual attraction towards Steve and shows her private voice and enables the audience to see her vulnerability. Contradictory to this, is the hard-boiled public voice which she uses in her work and makes her appear less vulnerable. This is illustrated through her comfortable use of jargon such as in the quote “The crims don’t discriminate anyway: they’ll blow away a woman on their trail as readily as a man”. Similarly to Claudia, Gracie Hart, in the film Miss Congeniality, is a woman working in male dominated, FBI workforce. Hart goes undercover in a Miss United States beauty pageant to prevent a serial killer of bombing the event. Like Claudia, she is also hard-boiled and has a tough external persona. She is very much work orientated and is not interested in her...
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