Double Indemnity Themes & Symbolism

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In 1732 the British poet, Alexander Pope, published his Essay on Man, in which the following lines appeared:

Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, As to be hated needs but to be seen; Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, We first endure, then pity, then embrace.

The poem warns against becoming too familiar with vices because if one becomes too familiar, one will end up embracing the vice itself, even when the outward appearance of the vice is monstrous. Cain, on the other hand, in Double Indemnity and his other novels, shrewdly depicts the ways in which ordinary people involved in ordinary events can embrace monstrous evil.

What could be more ordinary than an insurance salesman making a call on a client? What could be more ordinary, albeit somewhat empty, than Walter's life? What could be more ordinary than...

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This section contains 841 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the Double Indemnity Study Guide
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