Fragen zu Literatur und ihrem kulturellen und historischen Hintergrund
Questions about literature and its cultural, historical background.
Tongue Twister
Beiträge: 33
Registriert: 6. Dez 2006 23:06
Muttersprache: German.
Wohnort: Hanover, Lower Saxony, where the party is at.


Beitrag von Culturist »

I recently read “The Firm”, a thriller written by John Grisham, which was originally published in 1991. On its release, the book became an immediate success. It tells the story of the young up-and-coming lawyer Mitch McDeere, who has just landed a job at the renowed attorney´s office of Bendini, Lambert & Locke. But once he discovers that his home has been bugged by his employer, his life begins to turn into a nightmare. From then on, he must fear for his life while trying to stop the criminal activities of the firm forever.

As soon in the novel as Mitch McDeere is on the firm´s deathlist, it is revealed to the reader that the security chief of Bendini, Lambert & Locke, William DeVasher, is a key figure of the story.

William DeVasher is the antagonist to Mitch and particularly dangerous, for he notoriously does any kind of job thoroughly. He look as if he were about 50 years old. He worked as a certified detective in New Orleans for 30 years. Other people, such as those from the management, know him to be quite self-confident, curious and committed to his work. Having "suspicious" employees been observed for the management, he knows a lot of what is going on in the firm.

Grisham describes him as “being stocky with a slight belly, having thick shoulders and chest and a huge and a perfectly round head on his bulging neck (p. 3).” Besides, he “smiles rarely and smokes (p. 39).” It is also on page 39 that he is described to behave like this when he discusses the problem of Mitch McDeere´s knowing too much with Oliver Lambert, whom he calls Ollie. As it is, DeVasher has every employee of the firm been observed by two of his "goons" at all places.

The talk about, say, the assassination of Matt Kozinski and Joe Hodge between Oliver Lambert and DeVasher shows how much they rely on the latter in doing their criminal businesses. Although DeVasher seems to me to be an outspoken cold-blooded character, he sometimes surprisingly allows himself to show emotions, as on page 43 (“Dammit, Ollie, [...] He´s a very nice young man, with kids and all that.”). In DeVasher´s character feelings like pity but also relentlessness thus prevail, which makes him appear rather evil to me. In the many talks to Lambert and Locke, DeVasher turns out to have a strong self-confidence. He is aware of the fact that his being the only connection to Washington, to Lazarov and to Chicago (p.75) brings respect for him along from the management (Oliver Lambert and Nathan Locke).

No matter what job Lazarov has for DeVasher to do, he satisfactorily carries it out. The same commitment as with Lazarov is shown when he is called in by the Moroltos in Chicago.

It is interesting to note that from the middle of until almost towards the end of the book Grisham lets DeVasher guess what Mitch McDeere might be doing next. And, yes, although no one listens to him, he does guess right most of the time. Funnily enough, he always loses a bit of his otherwise strong self-confidence then.

Anyway, to cut a long story short, DeVasher has a strange character full of paradoxes. For example, although he is described as being self-confident, he appears naive in some places. Whenever he obeys to do some "dirty" job for his bosses, I consider him to act stupid contradicting himself then.



könnte jemand von euch meine Personenbeschreibung Korrektur lesen?