This thesis poses a new reading of Noir, crime fiction, and the role of the detective in American interwar literature (1929-1953) suggesting that many of these texts at their core deal with class inequalities. The role of the detective is to mediate the classes, keeping the fragile membrane that is the American dream intact. Raymond Chandler's The Big Sleep, The Long Goodbye, and other texts demonstrate Philip Marlowe's compassion for the compromised and disdain for the lazy and criminal. Chandler's works attempt to neatly bifurcate criminals and citizens though noting the potential for complication. In The Postman Always Rings Twice and Double Indemnity, James M. Cain vilifies the racist, careless, and selfish attitudes of the usurpers of middle-class property owners seeking to replace him as head of household. Cain's work justifies the American value of diligence and hard work. Chester Himes illustrates crime as a complication of race in If He Hollers Let Him Go suggesting race is instilled in African American men by birth. These circumstances are consequential to an Anglocentric social hierarchy. Crime is often vilified in Noir texts, but also is portrayed as a challenge to the wealthier class.