Moral luck and determinism in Rum Punch

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    In Rum Punch Elmore Leonard is mixing a cocktail to sweeten his reader's palate but also to give an elegant kick in the stomach through some sweet-sour observations about a world long gone out of whack. The well-known inclination to judge the moral behavior of literary characters, which the reading experience provokes in general, is conspicuously problematic in any reading of Rum Punch. Moral luck-the impact of random events and actions on moral judgments-plays an important role in the formation of one's moral character and identity. Leonard's Rum Punch offers several exemplary cases of the wavering or partial suspension of moral judgment in the face of moral luck, in what otherwise could be considered a pretty straightforward story about the criminal world of Miami. In a crime novel like Rum Punch the plot is rife with situations and circumstances that demand action from the protagonists.

    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationCritical Essays on Elmore Leonard
    Subtitle of host publicationIf It Sounds Like Writing
    Number of pages18
    ISBN (Electronic)9781119576723
    ISBN (Print)9781119576709
    Publication statusPublished - 14 Feb 2020


    • Criminal world
    • Elmore Leonard's Rum Punch
    • Literary characters
    • Moral judgment
    • Moral luck role


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