A Twist on Freedom
When Gandhi spoke of freedom, he derived it as independence from the British. He fought his whole life for freedom, culminating in his ultimate goal: a free India. While Elmore Leonard's goals were not as lofty in Get Shorty, he expresses the same idea of freedom. The novel's humorous take on Mafia life is the story of Chili Palmer, a loan shark down on his luck. Delving into Chili's hounding of a convict who has taken his money, Get Shorty is a representation of life in the most absurd form possible. Chili's scheme to steal his money backfires, but he becomes richer than he can imagine by making his life into a movie. Similarly, Elmore Leonard has had several of his books made into movies over his career. Although he has no connection to the Mafia, Leonard is still considered to be in the upper echelon of crime writers today.
His inspiration for Get Shorty came from his older brother who is similar to the main character: brash, tough, and confident. Many elements are used to show the central theme, but as one critic states, "By the end of a Leonard novel, there are two or three items that really stick out (Hilliard 6)." Thus, in Elmore Leonard's novel Get Shorty, irony, foreshadowing, and conflict are used to develop the central theme of freedom.
Irony is shown throughout Get Shorty to present the theme of freedom. One such way is when Fay Devoe, the wife of the man who has cheated Chili of his money states, "I wish he really was dead, the son of a bitch (Leonard 46)." This is ironic in that while the husband fakes his death and lives in splendor for some time, he dies at the end. Throughout the novel, Fay...