The Life and Crimes of Harry Lavender is crime novel about contemporary Australian life, written with all the ambiguity and moral sophistication of most “who dun-nits ". It looks like crime, and sounds like crime, and sells like crime, but -- it’s Literature! Its Opening is a subversion of the genre - a reversal of expectation as we are duped into believing this is your typical male private eye (P.I.). The role reversal - a female in a traditional male dominated field; women can do everything men can do - challenges the stereotypes of traditional crime fiction. Purpose: (themes, concerns, issues main ideas....)
1. To create a sense of place — Sydney.
Marele Day had spent four years travelling the world and when she came back to Sydney recognised its special charm and atmosphere. She became determined to write a book about it and its special appeal.
a) Find references to Sydney, favourable and unfavourable.
* what aspects are emphasized?
* In totality how does Day present Sydney?
* what are the links with the past?
* what is meant by the “facade of Sydney’?
2. Corruption and suspicion vs probity and trust.
3. Effect of technology — have we become dehumanised? Will technology take over from humans?
* What is the relationship between humanity and technology?
4. Isolation — Most of the characters are isolated in one way or another.
* Find as many examples of isolation as possible.
* What overall comment is made about isolation?
* Is there a connection between it and technology?
1. Day uses a lot of the technique of modern day films - especially the “black and white” scenes on Harry Lavender. How is he portrayed?
He is very detached and aloof. We the audience get to see and hear what Claudia is not privy to. Are these extracts from the book Mark Bannister was writing?
2. Comment on Claudia Valentine’s Phrasing
Claudia speaks in the manner of a hard-boiled worldly wise...
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