The Old Dick Summary
L. A. Morse

Everything you need to understand or teach The Old Dick by L. A. Morse.

  • The Old Dick Summary & Study Guide

The Old Dick Summary

The Old Dick includes themes common to detective fiction, such as the value of the private eye's independence and the unmitigated villainy of his major antagonists, but much of the novel emphasizes what Mark Twain has called "the wanton insult of old age." Throughout the novel one encounters characters who are intelligent, perceptive, competent, and skilled, but whose age renders them insignificant in society's view. Spanner resolves an incredibly difficult case, at one point tracing hundreds of "partial license plates" to discover one vehicle, with the assistance of senior citizens. One reason they succeed is that they are virtually invisible to those around them. Their age has canceled their humanity.

A more general theme is the tendency of many to place more emphasis on a person's appearance than on individual worth. At various points in the novel, in addition to the indifference shown to the elderly, Spanner comments...

(read more from the Short Guide)

Study Pack

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