Detectives in Chinatown, and in The Girl with The Dragon Tattoo

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About this sample


Words: 1429 |

Pages: 3|

8 min read

Published: Mar 14, 2019

Words: 1429|Pages: 3|8 min read

Published: Mar 14, 2019

Detective fiction is a sub-genre of crime fiction, thriller, and mystery, in which case a professional, and private detective investigates distinctly in a crime, and deal with real world struggles, and gain information or evidences through several methods and techniques in the process of his investigations. Yet, since most detectives in fictional genre are male, among the well know; J. J. Gittes, Dupin, spade, Holmes, etc. while female roles usually has been shown as being emotional, naive, and irrational, and the victim in the crime. However, in "The girl with the dragon tattoo" book, it shows the opposite, while the detective is a woman. Unlike, "Chinatown" film where the detective is a man. This comparison is dedicated to compare between two detectives in Chinatown, and in the girl with the dragon tattoo. Both of these are famous, and they have many differences and similarities as well. This paper will examine and compare both male and female roles, and characters as detectives, and shed the light on their methods of solving crimes, and the different approaches of both detectives in fiction crimes.

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The role of male detective in Chinatown film plays a remarkable aspect of detective hard-boiled fiction. The main character is J. J Gittes, who is a private detective, which was hired to investigate in the case of mulwray's murder. Gittes started to investigate about the people who were close to him, such as his wife, his partner in business, and people who work for him. Gittes had several methods to obtain information from these people. He used to go for them and set with them and talk, he used to communicate with them, in order to get a hint from anything they say. It was shown in the film that he went to the victim's house, and the place he used to work, and the place where he was murdered, he follows any clue he know, and looks for any detail that could help even if it take to sneak into people's offices and search the drawers for clues. He was full of speech lies and tricks in order to get what he wants in the case, such as using his emotions in order to get close to the Evelyn, Mulrway's wife to know more deeply about her, and if she could be the suspect of the murder of her husband. However, his method of sneaking and going out after people, lead him to the real truth of the case. His conversation with Evelyn illustrates the whole truth. Gittes role as a detective was to argue with her about the things she has hidden it, and the reason for it. Through his controversy with others he had the ability to gather and conclude information. What specialize Gittes as a detective is that he a courageous man, who doesn't fear to show himself out to the society, he sacrifices in order to get a little detail or clue. He likes to go into deep conversations and to know what other people think and their intentions by their talking. Through the film, Gittes looks like he doesn’t fear to be in places that he is not allowed to be in, and doesn't fear to get caught up in it, as long as he find something that would help him figure out the solution of the case. Gittes seems very daring to face people of their mistakes, and go after them. This depicts the role of male detective who doesn’t fear to show himself, and show the truth about the people who are guilty.

In contradiction, placing the male detective role to the female detective role in the story of the girl with dragon tattoo, where the private detective is called Lisbeth Salander, who was hired first to investigate about a journalist named Mikael Blomkvist, and then to collaborate with him to solve a mysterious case that happened 40 years ago, about a disappearance of a girl. It was shown through the story that both detectives Salander and Blomkvist collaborated to gather information and evidence about the case, and each one of them used their own way to figure out something. But, Salander played a significant role, and had a unique skill at investigations. Salander was a genius computer hacker, she used her computer skills to gather information and detect evidences about people, and also she was able to access information everything about a person's life through hacking their accounts and finds out information about them and their private life. Through reading the book, the writer Stieg portrays Salander with a spectacular intelligence, and wide imagination. "Her ability to gather information was sheer magic. She knew the bureaucratic archives inside out. Above all, she had the ability to get under the skin of the person she was investigating. If there was any dirt to be dug up, she would home in on it like a cruise missile". (27) Thus, Stieg states that she had an astonishing female character, which has a vigorous sense of investigation, which is clearly shown via her skills with technological tools, "When she was working at the computer her fingers flew over the keys."(28) We can infer that Salander role was relies on her knowledge of hacking, and skill of using technology. Moreover, Salander role as a detective was almost hidden, and she never show up in front of people. Because of her hacking work on computers, she does most of her investigations work hidden, in her own place, which reflects on the reason why her character is seems to be insurgent and social outcast, and doesn't communicate much with the others. As it mentioned in the book Salander didn't communicate with others, she didn't has family or either friends, she was told that she's not a person who encourages friendship. (Stieg, 39) therefore, we can deduce that Salander role as a detective was sort of strange and unique at the same time; she has the ability to investigate and solve problems, just with the use of her mind and computer, and not showing herself to the world.

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To conclude, Although both detectives have similarities, like both share a particular set of characteristics which puts them aside from the average individual, thus enabling them to stretch what the human being brain is capable of to be a great detective. However, both of male and female roles as detectives in the girl with the dragon tattoo, and Chinatown was presented differently. Salander and Gittes had a very various methods in investigations. The male role was shown in Chinatown as a courageous man and well known in society, whom everybody knows as a detective, and it was shown clearly when a women came to his office asking him to investigate in a certain issue. As well as he depends on his sense of touching and seeing through the visual image. Furthermore, as a male detective he would never guess or get to the truth without the confessions of the people he argued and faced, and his relation with them helped him a lot in knowing how to get the clues and information that lead to the understanding of the whole case. His attitude toward people is to gain their trust and gain information from them, thus, he likes to socialize, in order to get, and know what he wants from them. However, what differentiate the role of female as a detective in the girl with the dragon tattoo, is that Salander was anti-social character, nobody know, and doesn't has a family neither friends, this might be the reason why she does all her work on computer. Also, she doesn’t talk to people she is investigating about, and are suspected with a crime, she simply hack their accounts and get into their private life and knows everything she needs to by using technology, it might be the reason is her fear of society judgment of her, because of her unusual character of the usual female, and that's why she prefers to stay hidden. Generally it always the same, women prefer to stay away when they're doing something unfamiliar in the society, and don't like to be judge for what she is and she does like Lisbeth Salander, while men likes to show off themselves, and to be liked, and popular in the society like J.J. Gittes. But, women apparently are cleverer, and are enable to accomplish more successful achievements in investigations. Therefore, the distinction is clear between the role of male detective, and the role of female detective, where each one had a characteristic in the process of their investigations.

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Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

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Detectives in Chinatown, and in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. (2019, March 12). GradesFixer. Retrieved February 22, 2024, from
“Detectives in Chinatown, and in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.” GradesFixer, 12 Mar. 2019,
Detectives in Chinatown, and in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 22 Feb. 2024].
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