What a Private Eye Can Miss

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Drake R. Lewerenz Professor Seals ENG 102-B003 5 October 2012 What a Private Eye Can Miss The short detective story, “Red Wind,” by Raymond Chandler, follows Philip Marlowe as he unravels a murder he witnessed in a bar. This famous literary detective meets a string of characters that are as connected as pearls in a necklace, however they may be more connected than meets the private eye. Chandler uses his character’s actions, observations, and impressions of each other to avoid stating their romantic connections to one another. The first character that is introduced using this platonic principle is Waldo, later known as Joseph Coates. It is made clear that he was a chauffeur for Lola Barsaly that was fired by her husband, Frank Barsaly, upon his return from a business trip, as well as a thief when it is revealed that he stole Lola’s pearl necklace, given to her by her lost love, Stan Philips. There are things about Waldo that are unsaid. He is a homosexual, or, at the very least, Marlowe perceives him as a homosexual (Seals 167). Marlowe describes Waldo as “good-looking in a narrow-faced, tightlipped way,” with “a tight voice I didn’t like” (2). He gives further emphasis to his belief that Waldo is gay when he has this thought: “…Waldo had described the girl’s clothes in a way the ordinary man wouldn’t know how to describe them” (4). It is never directly stated that Waldo is a homosexual, but it is strongly suggested through Philip Marlowe’s observations of Waldo’s appearance. The next instance of implicit, romantic interest is between Marlowe and Lola Barsaly. Marlowe is sitting in Lola’s car when, “he turned a little and took hold of her. [He] was shaking when [he] let go of her.” She then wipes off her mouth and says, “I meant you to do that” (15). The “that” to which she refers is a kiss between the two residents of the car. Although it is

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