Little Scarlet

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the novel Little Scarlet by Walter Mosley, the protagonist faces inner-conflict when he is chosen to lead an investigation for the LAPD. The author makes the conflict real for the reader through imagery and allusion. The racial tensions between the people in L.A. throughout the book are truly real and able to be experienced. Walter Mosley uses these tangible literary devices to show the reader the heartfelt pain that the main character, Easy Rawlins, feels, and in the same way smoothly resolves Easy's inner conflict. He feels that by proving the innocence of a white man, and taking time away from his family he is doing a wrong thing, but when he comes to think about it he feels that by helping the police he is working for a just cause. Easy Rawlin's inner conflict is whether or not he is betraying his African American community when working for the LAPD. The author portrays this clearly by the imagery in which the characters describe each other. In Watts, I 1965, right during the riots, blacks were seen as inferior to whites and weren't treated as equals. For example, when Easy was walking in a hospital with a detective in order to investigate the murder of Nola Payne (Little Scarlet), and the registering nurse gives him a strange look "… A young white woman… she had… enormous brown eyes. Those eyes got bigger when we walked through the door." (Mosley: 15) Another tactic that the author uses to make this racial conflict real to the reader is by using allusions when referring to the streets of L.A. and the neighborhoods. "…was a long, flat bungalow off of La Cienega just above Wilshire." (Mosley: Pg.15) During the 60's, it is easy to imagine the struggles and tribulations of the black community in L.A. This knowledge makes it easier for the reader to sympathize with Easy Rawlins and his inner conflict. What leads Easy to have this conflict going on inside is his race, his beliefs, and his desire for peace. If Easy had been white, he wouldn't be experiencing this...
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