Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Twin Oaks Tavern

Frank Chambers first encounters the Twin Oaks Tavern after being thrown from a hay truck on the first page of the novel. "It was nothing but a roadside sandwich joint, like a million others in California." (pg. 3) At first, it acts as just another place to steal a free meal, but Frank's pursuit of Cora changes everything, including the tavern itself: "It's a beauty, believe me, it is. And it's important. A place is no better than its sign, is it?" (pg. 10). From Nick's perspective, it is a way for Frank to start anew, "Air. Is a nice. No fog, like in a Los Angeles. No fog at all. Nice, a clear, all a time nice a clear." (pg. 4) To Frank, Twin Oaks is a catalyst for the affair, the first murder attempt, and much later, revenge against the blackmailer Pat Kennedy. It also is frequently associated with cats: the cat who electrocuted itself in the fuse box, the neglected puma which helps convict him, and Frank's ongoing comparison of Cora to a hellcat.

The tavern evolves from a common restaurant for people passing through into a unique and dangerous place.

Cora wants to settle down and build a beer garden, but the more she invests in the tavern, the more difficult Frank finds it to stay.

Extraneous quotation:
"We kept the place open all the time, and went after the business, and got it. Of course it helped, that day when a hundred Sunday school kids showed up in three buses, and wanted a bunch of stuff to take out in the woods with them, but even without that we would have made plenty." (pg. 28)

No comments: